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Old 06-20-2019, 06:10 PM
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Can you get an infection from getting your blood taken?


Today I had some routine blood work done, I also have a knee injury and have to have blood taken lying down since I feint sometimes so I brought a pillow with me to put under my knee since it hurts to straighten it all the way. The nurse put all the equipment and glass blood tubes right on my pillow before she used them on me, the same pillow I had been using at home to prop up my leg and was not super clean I'm sure. What I'm wondering is since they take that tube that was on my pillow and stick it on to the end of the needle can the germs that were on it go back into your blood stream and give me an infection?
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:18 PM
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Sure, it's a wound like any other. Fortunately, the risk of transfer is low and your body is excellent at fighting this sort of thing every minute of every day.
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:21 PM
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Sure it can. Anything with the right germs can cause infection if those germs get into the bloodstream.
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:27 PM
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I stick needles in me up to 8 times a day. I stick my fingertips a few times a day. Yes you can get infections from the sticks. Decades of sticking my self and I've gotten 2 tiny abcesses. Rare. Needle drug addicts are probably the people who get them most. I think you'll be fine. IMHO
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:56 PM
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The risk should be very low. The needles weren't in contact with the pillow, right?
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TokyoBayer View Post
The risk should be very low. The needles weren't in contact with the pillow, right?
The needles don't have to have been in contact with the pillow if they used a Vacutainer collection device. There is only one "needle", but if several collection tubes are used, the dirty top of one tube could potentially contaminate the needle, which is a direct line to the vein.

That said, still an incredibly low chance of acquiring an infection in that fashion.


mmm
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
The needles don't have to have been in contact with the pillow if they used a Vacutainer collection device. There is only one "needle", but if several collection tubes are used, the dirty top of one tube could potentially contaminate the needle, which is a direct line to the vein.

That said, still an incredibly low chance of acquiring an infection in that fashion.


mmm
That sounds impossible to me.
What direction is the blood flowing?
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Old 06-21-2019, 04:36 AM
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That sounds impossible to me.
What direction is the blood flowing?
Are you imagining that little pathogens flow through the bloodstream as if they are whitewater rafting?


mmm
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Old 06-21-2019, 05:02 AM
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Are you imagining that little pathogens flow through the bloodstream as if they are whitewater rafting?


mmm
They're certainly not salmon either, though.
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Old 06-21-2019, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
The needles don't have to have been in contact with the pillow if they used a Vacutainer collection device. There is only one "needle", but if several collection tubes are used, the dirty top of one tube could potentially contaminate the needle, which is a direct line to the vein.

That said, still an incredibly low chance of acquiring an infection in that fashion.


mmm
Assuming a dirty collection vial contaminates the outlet end of the Vacutainer, the pathogens would then have to migrate up the interior of that Vacutainer tubing to reach the vein. That looks to be a distance of maybe 125 mm. The speediest single-cell organism from this chart hits about 1 mm/s (and I don't even know whether that's a problematic pathogen or not). So you'd need to contaminate the end of the tube, and then have at least 125 seconds of uninterrupted stagnant flow in the tube to even have a chance of an organism reaching your vein (this assumes the fastest swimmers, swimming in a straight line).

IME, that Vacutainer typically isn't stuck in my arm for more than 30 seconds, and that involves several vials of blood being collected - which means no more than a few seconds at a time during which motile bateria can make any progress toward your vein before being washed out.

If you go by this chart, which is very specifically about bacteria (as opposed to my earlier link, which is about single-celled organisms in general), the speeds are even lower, by a factor of ~5.
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Old 06-21-2019, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
Assuming a dirty collection vial contaminates the outlet end of the Vacutainer, the pathogens would then have to migrate up the interior of that Vacutainer tubing to reach the vein. That looks to be a distance of maybe 125 mm. The speediest single-cell organism from this chart hits about 1 mm/s (and I don't even know whether that's a problematic pathogen or not). So you'd need to contaminate the end of the tube, and then have at least 125 seconds of uninterrupted stagnant flow in the tube to even have a chance of an organism reaching your vein (this assumes the fastest swimmers, swimming in a straight line).

IME, that Vacutainer typically isn't stuck in my arm for more than 30 seconds, and that involves several vials of blood being collected - which means no more than a few seconds at a time during which motile bateria can make any progress toward your vein before being washed out.

If you go by this chart, which is very specifically about bacteria (as opposed to my earlier link, which is about single-celled organisms in general), the speeds are even lower, by a factor of ~5.
Would the gravity effect allow the blood to flow back into the vein since it was done with me laying down, or would the trickle from my beating heart prevent that?
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Old 06-21-2019, 04:35 PM
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If the taker of blood has a pale pallor, sharp pointy incisors , and hypnotic abilities, then yes, their condition could be transmittable...

Have you noticed an increased thirst for iron rich hemoglobin-containing liquids? does your reflection seem to be fading/gone?
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Old 06-21-2019, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
Assuming a dirty collection vial contaminates the outlet end of the Vacutainer, the pathogens would then have to migrate up the interior of that Vacutainer tubing to reach the vein. That looks to be a distance of maybe 125 mm. The speediest single-cell organism from this chart hits about 1 mm/s (and I don't even know whether that's a problematic pathogen or not). So you'd need to contaminate the end of the tube, and then have at least 125 seconds of uninterrupted stagnant flow in the tube to even have a chance of an organism reaching your vein (this assumes the fastest swimmers, swimming in a straight line).

IME, that Vacutainer typically isn't stuck in my arm for more than 30 seconds, and that involves several vials of blood being collected - which means no more than a few seconds at a time during which motile bateria can make any progress toward your vein before being washed out.

If you go by this chart, which is very specifically about bacteria (as opposed to my earlier link, which is about single-celled organisms in general), the speeds are even lower, by a factor of ~5.
In other words,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
...an incredibly low chance of acquiring an infection in that fashion.
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Old 06-21-2019, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by sara20 View Post
Would the gravity effect allow the blood to flow back into the vein since it was done with me laying down, or would the trickle from my beating heart prevent that?
The vacuum inside the vial forces the blood into it. Gravity will not counter that suction.
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Old 06-21-2019, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sara20 View Post
Would the gravity effect allow the blood to flow back into the vein since it was done with me laying down, or would the trickle from my beating heart prevent that?
That depends on your blood pressure. The second number (Diastolic) is the pressure in the arteries between beats, which approximates the pressure in the veins. Typical Diastolic pressures are between 60 and 80 mm Hg, which converts to about 1 to 1.5 PSI, which is also converts to 28 - 42 inches of water. Blood is a bit denser than water (SG of blood is about 1.043 - 1.060) which means the needle would have to be at least 26 inches above your heart, and that would only stop the blood from flowing out. You would need a bit more for it to flow back.

The short version is, your blood pressure prevents anything from going in through the needle. If your blood pressure dropped to zero, things would be different, but if your blood pressure was zero, you'd be dead, so it wouldn't matter.
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Old 06-21-2019, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
Assuming a dirty collection vial contaminates the outlet end of the Vacutainer, the pathogens would then have to migrate up the interior of that Vacutainer tubing to reach the vein. That looks to be a distance of maybe 125 mm. The speediest single-cell organism from this chart hits about 1 mm/s (and I don't even know whether that's a problematic pathogen or not). So you'd need to contaminate the end of the tube, and then have at least 125 seconds of uninterrupted stagnant flow in the tube to even have a chance of an organism reaching your vein (this assumes the fastest swimmers, swimming in a straight line).

IME, that Vacutainer typically isn't stuck in my arm for more than 30 seconds, and that involves several vials of blood being collected - which means no more than a few seconds at a time during which motile bateria can make any progress toward your vein before being washed out.

If you go by this chart, which is very specifically about bacteria (as opposed to my earlier link, which is about single-celled organisms in general), the speeds are even lower, by a factor of ~5.
Upon re-reading this post I am retracting my comment that there is any sort of chance of acquiring an infection via a dirty Vacutainer tube.

I had not considered the length of tubing the blood (and pathogens) would need to travel to even approach the insertion site.

Apologies.


mmm
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