Mum pricked by dirty needle filled with blood in public toilet faces six-month wait for infection test results
By Becca Husselbee
A mum who was pricked by a used needle after putting her hand in a toilet roll dispenser will have to wait six months for the results of her infection tests.
Sarah Eacott-Broun, 42, was shopping with her 10-year-old daughter and husband, Mark, 43, when she stopped to use the public toilet before meeting them both at the car, on August 26.
After putting her hand into the roll dispenser she felt a sharp pain in her finger and as she pulled her hand back a used needle, filled with blood, dropped to the floor.
Sarah said: “The toilet looked pretty clean, otherwise I wouldn’t have used it.
“You couldn’t see into the dispenser but as I put my hand in to find the end of the toilet roll I felt a sharp prick and was shocked when a needle fell to the floor.
“I just couldn’t believe it.”
Sarah made a panicked phone call to her husband to come back to the toilet and they decided to call the police to help remove the needle from the public toilet, in High Wycombe.
Two PCSO officer arrived and removed the needle with a gardening glove and a Waitrose bag and waited two hours with the Sarah for an ambulance, which never arrived.
Officers then took the panicked mum-of-one to High Wycombe hospital, where she had a number of tests but was left stunned when the hospital had no hepatitis shots.
She was then forced to travel to Stoke Mandeville Hospital, half an hour away, to have the essential shot.
Sarah, from Aylesbury, Bucks, said: “By the time I had waited to see a doctor it was nearly midnight and they told me I needed to have the vaccine within a certain amount of time.
“It seemed ridiculous that they would not have the shot there.”
She now has to wait six months before she will know the full result of an infection test and if it will have a lasting impact on her health.
She said: “It’s been a horrible experience.
“It could have been my daughter using that toilet, it doesn’t bear thinking about, she was so upset, she saw the whole thing.
“I wake up thinking about it in the night, I’ve always been really careful and I even worry about taking paracetamol in case something goes wrong.
“It’s even stopped me having a relationship with my husband just in case I have an infection.”
Catherine Spalton, from Wycombe District Council, said the toilets had been visited by the cleaning team four times that day.
She said the holders are locked and only opened if there is no toilet roll visible in them.
“We were shocked to hear what happened to Sarah and the distress that this has caused her.
“We will be reviewing with the police what happened and if anything needs to be done to further reduce the likelihood of something like this happening again.”