Needle stick Injury

First aid should be carried out immediately after any needlestick injury or similar injury

  • If the skin is punctured gently encourage the wound to bleed
  • Thoroughly wash the wound with soap and warm water. Do not scrub
  • Cover with a waterproof plaster
  • For splashes to mucous membranes or broken skin, irrigate with lots of water

You should then make an appointment to see your GP (local doctor) as soon as possible or attend the closest Accident & Emergency department where they will undertake a risk assessment to decide if you require any further treatment.

If you are a member of NHS Tayside staff, you must follow the guidance on the Sharps Safety page of Staffnet and complete a risk assessment.

We understand that this may be a worrying time for you, however, it is important to┬ánote that it is very unusual for people to become unwell from a ÔÇťneedle stickÔÇŁ or blood/body fluid splash. There are three main infections that are possible to catch from this type of injury. These are Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. However, the risk of each of these is low.

If, after a risk assessment, the doctor thinks there is a high risk that you may have been exposed to Hepatitis B or HIV, you may receive Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent the infection, however, in most cases, this will not be necessary.  We do not currently have any medication we can give to prevent Hepatitis C. However, the good news is we now have medicine that can cure hepatitis C if needed.

For more information on follow-up arrangements after an injury click here.

If you are a member of staff and you would like more information on what to do if a patient presents to you following an exposure event please see our Guidance on Community Exposure Events