Health risks of sharing needles discussed after incident at a middle school

MGN Online
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Several students are waiting their blood test results at a central Kentucky middle school following an incident involving a needle.

The school's principal tells us they were stuck with a sewing needle by their classmate. It happened Wednesday at McNabb Middle School in Montgomery County.

We are told the student responsible is in serious trouble, using a sewing needle to prick 20 classmates.

In light of this incident at McNabb Middle School, WKYT talked with health professionals about the potential health risks behind multiple people being stuck with the same needle.

The principal at McNabb Middle School says the 20 students saw their family doctors and nearly half of those 20 will get blood drawn as a precaution. And an official with the health department says she agrees with being safe than sorry.

"We are always concerned any time a needle stick is involved, but we think that the school took the appropriate response," said Jan Chamness, the public health director in Montgomery County.

In a humanities class during a sewing project is when the principal says a student started sticking his classmates with a needle. And in the hallway after class, we are told he stuck four or five more before a teacher could stop him.

Using the same needle, the obvious question comes to mind: what are the possible health risks?

"Anytime you have a needle stick and there's a potential for exposure to blood or blood product from someone else, then the exposure ranges from Hepatitis B to Hepatitis C to HIV," said Chamness. "Those are rare but that potential exists."

Officials at the Montgomery County Health Department say they are available to talk with any concerned parents about the incident.

"Most children, because of school requirements, have been immunized against Hepatitis B at very young ages," said Chamness.

For those students who have to get blood tests done, a health department official says they will more than likely have to get a follow up test within a few months.

The principal tells us the student responsible has been disciplined at school and might be in trouble legally as well.

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