Butterfly Needle

A butterfly needle is a short, straight, very thin hollow needle that is usually held by its wings and attached to a slender, flexible catheter line. At the far end of the line is a connector that will attach to a collection bottle, vacuum tube holder, a syringe, or to tubing from an infusion...

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Product Details

A butterfly needle is a short, straight, very thin hollow needle that is usually held by its wings and attached to a slender, flexible catheter line. At the far end of the line is a connector that will attach to a collection bottle, vacuum tube holder, a syringe, or to tubing from an infusion pump or transfusion bag. The needle may have a safety device that will slide over it and lock after it is used, to help prevent needlestick injuries.


Uses

Butterfly needles may be used in several settings. These simple IV needles can be used for blood collection, a chemo infusion, to give antibiotics, pain medications, or saline fluid.

Butterfly needles may be left in place for a few hours or over five to seven days if properly secured. These needles come in several lengths and gauges, with color-coded wings, needle guards, and in some models, retractable needles.

Butterfly needles are inserted through your skin into a vein at a very low angle. The fastest needle stick is the least painless unless you move around when you see the needle coming. The advantages of using a butterfly needle are that it can be very precisely placed and it is able to enter smaller, more superficial veins.

If you are needle-phobic, concentrate on taking a deep breath when it is time to get stuck; this can help distract you when the needle makes contact with your skin. After use, the needles should be safely disposed of, along with medical waste. You will have a bandage over your needle puncture after treatment; be sure to keep it on 15-30 minutes after your infusion, to keep the area clean and prevent leaks.

You may still get butterflies in your stomach if you hate needle sticks, but butterfly needles are useful, less painful, and enable you to get the testing and treatments that you need during your journey through breast cancer. Don't fear the butterfly.

Quality of Care. I am a huge proponent for reducing the costs of healthcare delivery. It’s part of how hospitals improve profitability. But when it impacts the quality of my care, albeit on a very small level, I didn’t care about the cost. Give me the butterfly needle and to heck with the savings!


Purpose

This procedure provides instructions on how to collect a blood sample using a butterfly needle as well as when a blood collection requiring a butterfly needle should be considered.


Background

The vacutainer/straight needle method for performing blood collections is the method of choice and should always be considered first.  Phlebotomists should not become dependent on the use of butterflies for patients with veins that can be accessed with a straight needle. The tubing associated with the butterfly needle is more prone to clotting than the use of a straight needle. There is an increased risk of needlestick injury when a butterfly needle is used. Butterfly needles (winged sets) are to be used only in special circumstances for blood collection.  


These include:

Very small and fragile veins, e.g. hands, feet, neonates

Patient’s with tremors or uncontrolled movements

Blood Cultures

PAXgene tube collections

Haemophiliac patients

Venous blood gases

Patients who cannot physically or easily change the position of their arms

When 10 or more tubes are to be collected at one time

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