A six-year-old girl is in danger of having contacted HIV after a routine vaccination went awry in Fort St. James earlier this month.
When the little girl’s arm flinched as she was getting the booster shot, the needle went through the girl’s skin and pricked the nurse who was administering it.
When the needle was extracted, their blood mixed.
A week later, the little girl’s father was told the nurse was HIV-positive.
The unidentified nurse is employed by Northern Health, and is HIV positive. The child’s father learned of the nurse’s medical status after the fact, and says his family is “horrified” about the incident.
“I got a call a week later to come into the clinic and they explained to me that my daughter had been exposed to the HIV virus,” the father told The Huffington Post.
The father, whose identity has been kept out of the media to protect the child’s identity, says he is upset that the nurse was allowed to administer vaccinations in light of her own medical status.
Northern Health Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Sandra Allison said: “The organization cannot discriminate against people based on their blood borne pathogen status including HIV and Hepatitis B, it is a human right to be able to continue to work.”
The nurse was following all the guidelines for administering vaccinations, and following proper protocol per the College of Registered Nurses in B.C.
“Having been made aware of the event, we deeply regret the event and we apologize for the incident, the unfortunate accident with that child,” said Dr. Allison.
The six-year-old girl will have to undergo testing every couple of weeks for the next eight to ten months to check for HIV infection.
The College of Registered Nurses and the B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons do have professional standards and guidelines for staff with blood-borne communicable diseases conducting exposure-prone procedures. However, that does not include administering injections.
The right to work is more important than a patient being exposed to HIV by medical professionals? For shame, that HIV infected nurse should have paperwork duties, and not be anywhere near patients’ blood. I think that child’s right to HIV-free medical care is more important than that nurse’s sick desire to threaten the lives of patients. If that was my child, oh boy, there would be murder to pay! Because that’s what this is, murder! Hope that little girl doesn’t get HIV.