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First aid should be carried out immediately after any needlestick injury or similar injury
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.
We understand that this may be a worrying time for you, however, it is important to note that it is very unusual for people to become unwell from a “needle stick” 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