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HIV testing and health care professionals

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
Do you believe that all health care professionals should undergo mandatory testing for HIV? Why or why not?


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This is one question that we are studying in my Ethical and Legal Issues In Health Care class, so I'm curious to see what people think. I'll give my answer later.
 

Bubbles

I ♥ Haters
Yeah, I guess doctors should under go HIV test since they're frequently working with scalpels. A little cut could result in an HIV infection or something. I remember hearing an urban legend about how a doctor got a cut on his hand after using a scalpel and contracted HIV from an infected patient during surgery. However, thats all that really is, an urban legend. I know that scenerio the opposite of your question, but I guess its a good example. Its possible for a doctor to infect a patient.
 
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AnitaKnapp

It's not me, it's you.
V.I.P.
No. It seems like mandatory testing would cost a fortune. How often would they have to test for it? Where would the cost for all these tests be passed off to? The patient? Insurance companies?

I think they should all wear gloves during any procedure just for basic sterilization. I don't think a random freak infection is very likely to happen.
 

ysabel

/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
No. It seems like mandatory testing would cost a fortune. How often would they have to test for it? Where would the cost for all these tests be passed off to? The patient? Insurance companies?

I think they should all wear gloves during any procedure just for basic sterilization. I don't think a random freak infection is very likely to happen.
What Anita said. And not all health care professionals have direct contact with blood or have a high risk of randomly transfusing to a patient. Should HIV people now be excluded in practicing anything health care related? In addition, why isolate HIV? There are many diseases that can be transmitted by blood, will they test for all those too?
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
Standard precautions include using gloves with every patient, every time, if there's any risk at all of contact with bodily fluids. Plus if there's an accidental poke, worker's comp pays for testing and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
 

Smelnick

Creeping On You
V.I.P.
Mandatory testing? No, I don't think so. I'm pretty sure that safety protocols when dealing with patient blood and fluids are pounded into a doctors head the same way that work safety stuffs are pounded into a labourers head. It would be a waste of money for something that isn't really needed. Spend the money towards prevention instead. Provide proper protective equipment, provide testing should an accident occur, and provide support should the worst happen.
 

Diederick

Registered Member
I don't think HIV deserves to be singled out as a big threat. Hepatitis B, for which Dutch healthcare workers need to be vaccinated, is much more easily transmitted. HIV isn't that contaminating, only after prick-incidents (as we call 'em) or after really sloppy hygiene and safety precautions would a health worker be at risk. For such accidents a crash-diet of anti-bodies might remedy a starting HIV infection, I believe such is the standard for prick-incidents ("PEP").

On the other hand, I do think it is desirable to at least have the healthcare workers be 'clean', meaning they're not carrying any of those viruses. Obviously not something which can be achieved right now, since that would probably eliminate or make less worthy, half of the health care industry, if not more. Not doable for something that would just be nice and doesn't really make the healthcare any better.
 
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