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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18671
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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This weekend my partner and I took our 13 week old to a&e because

Customer Question

This weekend my partner and I took our 13 week old to a&e because she hadn't produced a wet nappy in 12 hours. Thankfully that situation was resolved. However whilst we were there, a doctor examined her, including her throat, using a pen torch. Unfortunately he put this so close to her mouth that it went in, touching her lips and inside her mouth.
I've since been really worried that she might've picked up an infection via this route from another of his precious patients, assuming he had done the same with others. I didn't see him clean the torch either before or a after using it on her and he had it in his scrubs pocket, where he returned it after use.
Most people probably wouldn't have even noticed, but I do have postnatal anxiety and tend to overthink such things and worry about my daughter getting infections, etc. She was a little premature at 35 weeks and I think the nicu experience (she just had. Bit of mucus on her lungs and needed no oxygen. I can't tell anymore whether this is my anxiety talking and I am being too over cautious (after all she will come into contact with all sorts at baby groups) - I worry in particular about things like the hsv1/cold sore virus which can be really dangerous in babies - or whether I bright to be concerned. My partner says it's so unlikely she will have picked anything up, particularly as it had been in his pocket and probably anything on it rubbed off, but I worry anyway and end up watching for symptoms and worrying about how long she might be incubating something awful. My question is - do thins like this happen all the time and am I likely worrying over nothing? I do need some reassurance. I am about to begin treatment myself for my pnd. Thanks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
Hello from JustAnswer.

There is no evidence of significant risk associated with the use of a hand-held light, but it is also true that proper use of the light should not involve touching the lips or the inside of the mouth. From what we know of germs, there is little concern about HSV1, as this virus will not survive on inanimate objects, but there are other germs that are more likely to remain viable on inanimate objects, such as cold and flu viruses. The system says that you are in the UK, and the cold and flu season would have subsided by this point, but to the extent that any risk exists, these would be the common germs that could be an issue.

Even if in cold and flu season, the realistic risk of this type of contact as a form of transmission would be low, so there is no reason for significant concern. However, it is always appropriate to monitor your child for any sign of infection.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know.