Obviously the physical injury itself is not much to look at as it is usually only a small pin prick. This will most likely heal within a few days of the incident and there will be no long lasting damage or scarring.
However, these injuries can cause a lot of stress or anxiety. For instance it may not be possible to trace the needle to the patient it was used on. This then raises doubts that the person that it was used upon was suffering from a blood borne virus such as Hepatitis B or C or even HIV.
The victim of a needlestick injury may require immunisation and/ or antibiotics. If it is felt that there was a significant risk of HIV then Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) will begin. This involves the administration of antiretroviral drugs to reduce the risk of contracting HIV but this should be started within an hour of the initial injury as its effectiveness is diminished the longer it is left before PEP begins. Find out what you should do if you are pricked by a needlestick.
Typically a person may suffer from sleepless nights, anxiety disorders, tearfulness, fear and phobia's.
Even with a course of immunisation and drugs to help the affected person will still have to undergo regular blood tests to ascertain whether or not they have the "all clear". These blood tests have to be done over several months and so it could be as long as a year after the accident before a person finds out for sure whether they have the "all clear". These are all things that are taken into consideration for needlestick compensation awards.