- Amy Bate’s son Oscar found the needle underneath a table at the pub yesterday
- She says she felt sick after realising he’d pricked himself with the used needle
- He had to have blood taken and hepatitis test after incident at pub in St Helens
- Wetherspoons has apologised and offered the family a £50 gift voucher
A toddler had to undergo a HIV test after finding a ‘dirty’ needle under a table at a Wetherspoons pub.
Amy Bate took her two-year-old son Oscar to The Glass House in St Helens, Merseyside for a family meal yesterday afternoon.
But she was horrified when he emerged from under the table with the used needle.
The youngster had to be rushed to hospital in tears where had he had his blood taken and a hepatitis vaccination.
Ms Bate, 23, said: ‘My son climbed under the table and picked up something that looked like a dark blue marker pen lid and I told him to put it down and that it was dirty.
‘He put it down but quickly picked it back up and said he wanted to show Daddy.
‘As he said that he said ‘there’s a needle in it’. So I grabbed it off him and he said ‘ouch, that hurt me’. Then I looked and there was a needle inside.
‘I felt sick literally as soon as I realised he had been pricked by it and knew we had to take him the hospital straight away as my first thought was oh my god, what if he’s got HIV?
‘We had to keep a brave face for him but it was absolutely horrible to see our baby going through that when he should never have had to.’
Little Oscar was left ‘distressed’ by the ordeal, which saw his parents take him to hospital, where he had to have his blood taken as well as a hepatitis vaccination in his leg.
It is not clear what type of needle it was. Ms Bate claims all she knows is it had been used.
She added: ‘Oscar was very distressed at the hospital, as he had to have his bloods taken out of his hand and bled a lot so this was distressing for him then he had a hepatitis vaccine in his leg which also made him really distressed.
‘He’s doing okay now, but he keeps talking about ‘the needle’ and remembering the hospital and having the injections done. This should never have happened.’
The incident now means Oscar will need to have repeat vaccines in three weeks’ time and then have repeated blood tests every three months.
A JD Wetherspoon spokesman said: ‘The manager at the pub and the company apologise wholeheartedly to the lady and her family.
‘This is a horrible incident and obviously shouldn’t happen. The lady and her child shouldn’t have had to go through the trauma of having an HIV test at the hospital.
‘The manager at the pub would like to offer the lady a £50 gift card for use at the pub. This in no way underestimates the situation that she faced.’
Kat Smithson, Director of Policy and Campaigns at NAT (National AIDS Trust) said: “There have been no cases anywhere in the world of somebody contracting HIV through a needle stick injury from a needle discarded in a public place.
“The problem of discarded needles is a concern for many people who would like public places to be safe and pleasant, particularly for children. At the same time, it is important to reassure the public regarding HIV risk. HIV can be transmitted through the direct sharing of injecting drug equipment, however, HIV is a very delicate virus that does not survive outside the body well and therefore risk from a discarded needle is extremely low.