PEP Tips: Found Needle PEP

Welcome to the CCC’s new monthly web series, PEP Tips! PEP Tips feature brief advice, recommendations, or options on post-exposure management topics that CCC consultants encounter on our PEPline. Looking for additional online resources on potential bloodborne pathogen exposures? Check out the PEP Quick Guide, the CCC’s at-a-glance guide for urgent post-exposure decision-making.

PEP SyringePEP Tip: Found Needle PEP

The risk of HIV transmission from a found needle in a community (i.e. non-occupational) setting is very low; furthermore, there have not been any documented transmissions of HIV from found needles outside of health care settings. The CDC states that PEP is generally not warranted unless the needle is found in an area where HIV exposure is likely.

Reference: A pointed question: is a child at risk following a community-acquired needlestick injury? Joshua Osowicki, Nigel Curtis
Arch Dis Child archdischild-2014-306929 Published Online First: 27 August 2014 doi:10.1136/archdischild-2014-306929

Because CCC consultations are based on information provided by the caller or clinician accessing the online consultation center, without the benefit of a direct evaluation or examination of the patient, consultations are intended to be used as a guide. They do not constitute medical advice and are not to serve as a substitute for medical judgment.