Brief instructions on how to use the butterfly needle

Structure of the butterfly needle makes it a very handful piece , it consists of a fine needle that comes in different gauges from a size of 21 until 25 ( diameter decreases by increasing gauge number ) , the needle has two flexible wings fixed to both sides ( helping the phlebotomist to control the butterfly needle during collecting blood process ) attached to a flexible plastic tube which my be connected to a syringe or a vacuum tube holder.

There are several uses for the butterfly needle but the main use is for infants or children where a special 25 gauge size may be used , unfortunately it needs high skills to manage especially with children , It also can be used with adults who suffer from narrow veins as from the advantages of the needle it allows the phlebotomist to confirm that the needle entered properly through the vein .

Using the butterfly needle to draw blood is nearly similar to the regular needle but with slight variation.

We need to take some considerations before using the butterfly needle :

1 - In order to keep it a clean process using gloves in the procedure is a must to avoid contamination , and disinfection of the puncture site using iodine or ethyl alcohol .

2 - Pulpating and feeling the vein must be done before the procedure to determine the size and firmness of the vein to judge if it is qualified or not , usually the more suitable and the most usable veins are of the back of the hand and the outside of the forearm .

3 - It is important to remember that the difference of the butterfly needle from the regular one that it is inserted with a 30 degree angle directed in the direction of the blood flow .

4 - Since the needle is mainly used with small veins it actually needs some experience so a lot of practice is needed under supervision so if no blood flows after insertion try to find another site with a better vein and repeat this until blood flows .

 Brief instructions on how to use the butterfly needle :

1 -You must receive patients nicely smiling and greeting them in order to make the procedure more comfortable  .

2 - Wash your hands with water and soap for disinfection , and don't touch anything with them to avoid any infection again otherwise repeat this step again .

3 - Unpack the butterfly needle from its package , then attach the tube valve into a tube holder .

4 - Place a tourniquet around the patients arm to examine and locate a vein , warming the patients elbow crease with a warming device helps in locating an appropriate vein .

5 - Avoid contamination by applying alcohol to vein location and leave it until it dries out completely .

6 - Remove the safety cap from needle and hold it by its wings to have a more controlled grip  .

7 - Insert the needle into the vein parallel to the vein direction at shallow angle between 15 and 30 degree , a resistance will be felt first when entering the skin and a second one will be felt when entering through the vein .

8 - A flow of blood should have been started seen in the tubes , if not try to reposition and reinsert the needle in another vein .

9 - When the vacuum tube is filled untie the tourniquet and remove it , also remove the needle and cover the site of needle insertion with  gauge or a cotton with applying pressure to stop any bleeding and promote clotting then bandage the patient .

10 - Dispose the butterfly needle set in a sharp container and throw any disposables .

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