Healthy living

Treating needlestick injuries

In Western Australia to date there has not been a documented case of a person contracting HIVhepatitis B or hepatitis C from a needlestick injury that occurred in a community setting (such as a park or beach), and the risk is considered to be very low.

If someone is injured by a discarded needle and syringe, do not panic.

Take reasonable care and follow these steps:

  1. Wash the area gently with soap and running tap water as soon as possible.
  2. Apply an antiseptic and a clean dressing.
  3. Obtain prompt medical advice from your local doctor or hospital emergency department, preferably within 24 hours.
  4. Dispose of the needle safely.

Where to get help

  • See your doctor.
  • Ring healthdirectAustralia on 1800 022 222.


Public Health

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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