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BBP exposure...Thoughts?

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  • BBP exposure...Thoughts?

    I'll lay it out as it happened, and then ask my question.

    Last night on graves, we had a report of an assault by biting. I arrive right in front of the other two units to find an intoxicated male sitting on the tailgate of a p/u truck, bleeding from the face and neck, being tended to by 2 females. There's also 3 other females milling around crying and wringing their hands (BTW, everyone there was drunk). I contact the victim while the other 3 officers work crowd control, starting to interview the females. I manage to disentangle the vic from his nearest helper and start talking to him. Now, I've spoken with him several times before, and he was completely cool. This time, he starts out ok, but loses it really quick. I mean like within 2 seconds he does a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde transformation.

    Now I'm standing interview style, bladed and all, but you still look at someone to talk with them. He answers the question I'm asking him (birthdate) and suddenly hocks the biggest, nastiest mouthful of bloody spit I've ever seen at me, catching me square in the face, eyes and mouth (ew).

    Of course, I drop him, and the crowd of women does the expected screaming thing.

    Once I had him down, he flip-flopped back over to Dr. Jekyll and became completely passive, apologetic and cooperative, eventually refusing EMS treatment and then changing his mind and going to the hospital (where I'm told he had a partial breath PBT of something like .310).

    After all was said and done, the biter went for Assault-4 and the bitee is getting disorderly conduct (recklessly creating a hazardous condition...).

    I of course did the workman's comp for possible exposure and got a gallon of blood drawn

    I went home right after I cleared the scene and changed my clothes, showered and gargled with a pint of Listerine, and right now I'm off and attempting to kill any remaining germs with a rather nice single malt....er...medicine.

    Question is this: Have any of you had an experience like this, or known someone who has, where they actually caught something? If so, what?
    The doc told me I probably didn't get enough in the mouth to worry about HIV, but Hep is pretty prevalent around here.

  • #2
    Was suspect tested for communicable diseases while at the hospital?
    Cowboys in town. Trouble expected.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by PTI
      Was suspect tested for communicable diseases while at the hospital?
      I was told he walked out of the hospital AMA after refusing treatment, grabbing his things and hotfooting out the back door. Sadly, he knows I know him, and that I know where he lives.

      I was told he has nothing in his hospital chart indicating CDs, and he didn't leave any bloody stuff behind for me to seize and submit for testing. What do you wanna guess the first thing I ask the court to order him to do is?

      If I have to give blood, so does he!

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      • #4
        My agency has policy in place for court ordered blood draws in situations like this. Fortunately I have no personal experience. Something else for you to think about......Our statewide EMT recert Instructor (ER/flight Nurse) suggests high dose antibiotics after exposures. Unfortunately I don't remember the name of it.
        Cowboys in town. Trouble expected.

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        • #5
          Check your state law. If he refuses a sample, we get a quick court order and take his blood. No problem...better to see if he's carrying now than to worry for six months. If you have a problem, check with your local health department. I am surprised that your agency has not established protocals to deal with this situation. We have a 24 hour infectious control MD who gets wake up calls. Good luck!
          "We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm" -George Orwell

          "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing diapers." - Blues Brothers

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          • #6
            Originally posted by grumpyirishman
            Check your state law. If he refuses a sample, we get a quick court order and take his blood. No problem...better to see if he's carrying now than to worry for six months. If you have a problem, check with your local health department. I am surprised that your agency has not established protocals to deal with this situation. We have a 24 hour infectious control MD who gets wake up calls. Good luck!
            The only things on 24 hour call up here is the fire department and us.

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            • #7
              First and foremost, make sure that the incident is well documented in both your report and with a supervisor's "first report of injury" or via "worker's compensation." In doing so, God forbid that the perp did have a BBP, your medical bills and future care will be covered. Two, see if you can seize a sample of his blood/saliva via the court system. Third, since he spit at/on you purposefully, charge him with 2nd degree assault and/or assault against a police officer, disorderly persons, and possibly resisting arrest via an arrest warrant (1st degree, if got forbid he knew he had a disease and he was intentionally trying to pass it on to you). Fourth, go to a doctor as soon as possible, though it seems you have already done that. Within 48hrs or so, they can prescribe you a prescription 'cocktail' that should fend off HIV infections, but as you said, Hep is a tricker beast. Make sure you get tested periodically for up to six months and discuss the exposure with your wife/girlfriend as to minimize her exposure too.

              Other than that, sorry you had to be put through all that. Most of us have been there before, and know the sense of panic you're going through all to well.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by crabbycancer
                First and foremost, make sure that the incident is well documented in both your report and with a supervisor's "first report of injury" or via "worker's compensation." In doing so, God forbid that the perp did have a BBP, your medical bills and future care will be covered.
                Done, and done. Both the Worker's Comp and my Use of Force reports documented the hell out of it, as will my final narrative.

                Two, see if you can seize a sample of his blood/saliva via the court system.
                Third, since he spit at/on you purposefully, charge him with 2nd degree assault and/or assault against a police officer, disorderly persons, and possibly resisting arrest via an arrest warrant (1st degree, if got forbid he knew he had a disease and he was intentionally trying to pass it on to you).
                Sadly, all that fits the bill are misdemeanors...But he's gonna feel those, at least.

                Fourth, go to a doctor as soon as possible, though it seems you have already done that. Within 48hrs or so, they can prescribe you a prescription 'cocktail' that should fend off HIV infections, but as you said, Hep is a tricker beast. Make sure you get tested periodically for up to six months and discuss the exposure with your wife/girlfriend as to minimize her exposure too.
                Yeah, I did the ER thing within the hour, and they told me pretty much the same thing.

                Thanks for the response!

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                • #9
                  You'll be okay

                  In my 15 years or medicine before "switching over" I learned a ton about exposure. Your chances are pretty dern small of catching anything from the suspect. Do all the things the others suggested, but take a deep breath, you're gonna be okay.
                  Be alert...the world needs more lerts!

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                  • #10
                    I guess I am not understanding why an officer didn't go to the hospital with him for three reasons:
                    1) He should of been locked up
                    2) To make sure blood was drawn
                    3) He should of NEEDED hospital treatment after spitting in an officers face

                    It seems like your department must not have very good policies on this. It is a burden on your shoulders to have to worry about things now instead of having them taken care of immediatly.
                    "You didn't think we give pretty women tickets? You're right, we don't."

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                    • #11
                      I wouldn't worry too much about it. I got a face-full of blood a few years ago. I was scared as hell, but everything turned out just fine.
                      When I see the sea once more, will the sea have seen or not seen me?

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                      • #12

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                        • #13
                          You didnt have any open cuts on you that his blood could have gotten into did you? If not your OK! I was told by a Doc in the know that unless you have blood to blood contact it's almost impossible that you caught a BBP.

                          I'd still take the antibiotics though.

                          DeltaCop
                          "For those who fight for it, Life has a meaning that the sheltered will never know"

                          Unknown Marine
                          Khe Sanh

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