Bloodborne Pathogen Infection

Bloodborne Pathogen Infection

Nancy Moore, a registered nurse, is assisting Dr. Brown while he performs a minor surgical procedure. Dr. Brown is known to have a quick temper, and he becomes very angry if a surgical procedure is delayed for any reason. As Nancy is handing a needle with suture thread to Dr. Brown, she feels a slight prick in her sterile gloves. She tells Dr. Brown about this and explains that she will have to be excused from the procedure for a few minutes while she changes gloves. He becomes angry and tells her to “forget about it and help me finish.”

  • a.Will it be harmful to anyone if Nancy wears the gloves during the rest of the procedure, as it was just a slight prick and the patient’s wound does not appear to be infected?  
  • b.Who is at fault if the patient does develop an infection?
  • c.What recourse does Nancy have if she develops a bloodborne pathogen infection, such as hepatitis from the small hole in her gloves?
  • d.Is this an ethical or a legal issue or both?
  • e.Are there any federal regulations that might help Nancy in the event of an injury or infection? If so, what are they?


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