An Oregon father says his 2-year-old daughter was poked by a hypodermic needle while riding a train.
Brian Higby told KPTV that his family was taking the MAX Green Line in Portland this week when he heard his child say “owie.”
He looked over at his daughter, who was being held by his wife, and noticed she was holding a syringe. Higby believed the needle poked her and quickly took it away.
The family rushed the 2-year-old to Randall Children’s Hospital, where tests were performed on the needle and the child.
The little girl was determined to be OK. But now, the family is waiting on long-term tests results, hoping those come back clear too.
Higby recalled the utter terror of seeing the syringe in his daughter’s hand.
“Total hopelessness, you know, helpless. In awe like, ‘Oh my God, what just happened to my child,'” said Higby. “It would be like being in a drive-by shooting basically. There was no control of it.”
Police are reviewing surveillance video of the incident.
The issue of finding discarded needles everywhere is becoming an alarming trend.
People, often children, risk getting stuck by discarded needles, raising the prospect they could contract blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis or HIV or be exposed to remnants of heroin or other drugs.
Needles turn up in places like parks, baseball diamonds, trails and beaches — isolated spots where drug users can gather and attract little attention, and often the same spots used by the public for recreation. The needles areout of carelessness or the fear of being prosecuted for possessing them.
What to do if you find syringes in public:
- Don’t pick them up, but if you do, minimize any hand contact. Use sturdy gloves, disposable tongs, a shovel or dustpan, and put them in a puncture-proof container.
- Call someone to pick them up. Check with your local information hotline or health department, which can take care of it or direct you to people who can. Don’t call 911 unless directed, or unless there is imminent danger or an emergency.
- If you get poked, don’t panic. Don’t suck the wound. Go to your doctor, an emergency room or an urgent care clinic for further guidance, as well as possible medical tests and immunizations.
The Associated Press contributed to this report