Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2017; 65(01): e1
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1602831
Letter to the Editor
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Prevention of Seroconversion after HIV-Infected Needle Stick

Francis Robicsek
1  Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Carolinas Healthcare System, Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

28 March 2017

03 April 2017

Publication Date:
17 May 2017 (online)

Regarding “High-Risk Cardiac Surgery in Patients with Intravenous Drug Abuse and/or Active Hepatitis C or Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection: An Ethical Discussion of Six Cases”

Reply by the Authors of the Original Article

I read with great interest the article by Domanin and Romagnoni, the January issue of the journal “The Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon,”[1] which focused on the ever-existing danger of accidental injury of the operating surgeon by hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus. In this regard, I am calling the attention to our articles[2] [3] in which, based on extensive experiments, we have shown that retrovirus seroconversion may be prevented if the inoculation site is infiltrated with Betadine immediately after the injury. Therefore, it is our recommendation that in cases of operating a patient with a known high risk of being a carrier, the surgeon should hold on the Mayo stand a syringe of 1 mL of Betadine diluted with 19 mL of novocaine. In case of an accidental injury, he/she may immediately apply a tourniquet if appropriate and, preferably within 20 seconds, infiltrate the site of injury with the solution. The process proved to be safe, painless, and highly effective in preventing the transfer of infection.