The parents of a one-year-old boy had to wait three months to find out HIV tests were clear after he pricked his hand on a needle in a hospital toy box.
Jade Oakley says waiting for Jack's test results had been agonising
Jack Oakley, of Bishops Stortford, Herts, punctured his finger at Harlow's Princess Alexandra Hospital in Essex.
A spokesman said it had been a very unfortunate and a senior manager had apologised at the time.
He said staff had been reminded of safety responsibilities when syringes and needles were being discarded.
"Somehow this syringe ended up in a toy box after it had been used," the spokesman said.
"It's not something anyone has ever heard of happening before. We can only apologise."
Jack's mother Jade Oakley, 26, has submitted a formal complaint about the incident in December last year.
They were at the hospital where she was being treated for damaged ribs after a minor accident.
She said the three-month wait had been agonising for the whole family.
"He was playing with the toys ... he let out a scream and there was a used needle in his hand. There was fresh blood where he had punctured his finger.
"I was extremely shocked and extremely distressed and upset. I think they handled is disgracefully.
"They did try to brush it under the carpet. In the three months, which were a nightmare for all of my family, they did not contact us once."
Jack had to have a series of blood tests and a course of vaccine before being given the all-clear for HIV and hepatitis B.