Medical Ethics Case Study

28 years old Female medical intern working in a tertiary hospital with no known comorbid or allergic history presented with a needle prick injury while retracting morning routine blood from a patient in the Medical ward. After collecting the blood required, the doctor attempt to recap the needle used and had a prick on her left second finger.

After the needle prick injury, she pressed the finger, run in the running tap for almost 10 minutes, and applied antiseptic and applied Band-Aid. She did not report the incident to management or the ward Sister in charge. The following day she found out the patient was Hepatitis B positive and admitted for liver cirrhosis. She reported the incident to her Ward Matron and was referred to NSI in charge sister and followed up with her history of Hepatitis vaccination and titer antibody.

Her antibody titer was unknown. A blood investigation was sent for the urgent report. Revealed Low antibody titer. Immediate Hepatitis B vaccines are given and followed by the Hepatitis B schedule vaccinations. Planned to repeat the test for 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months.

Until tests and follow-up are completed the patient is advised:

Do not donate blood, breast milk, or semen
Have safe sex
Do not share injecting drug equipment
Seek advice from the doctor about pregnancy and breastfeeding.

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