Huber Needles

A Huber Needle is a hollow needle with a long beveled , sharp, directional needle tip  which is designed by a dentist Dr. Ralph L. Huber and refined afterwards by an anesthesiologist Dr. Edward B. Tuohy to be used in spinal catheter .
Implanted port 231x300 Huber NeedleThe Huber Needle is an alternative to other delivery systems used for infusion as they are used with patients that need repeated vascular access and fluid therapy for long term, and is specially designed to be used with implanted ports.
Port systems has many uses as blood withdraw, medication infusion, parenteral nutritional solutions, blood products and imaging solutions.The implanted port systems is composed of two parts :
  1.    The injection port with a septum that is self sealing .
  2.    A radiopaque catheter that extends above S.V.C for faster dilution and a more effective flow into patient’s circulatory system .
To appreciate the Huber invention and why it is important to vascular access port users, a short huber needle bevel Huber Needlediscussion of needle point geometry & style may be helpful. The term bevel refers to the angle surface formed on the needle shaft when sharpened to make the needle point. Bevel length is the longest distance of the bevel measured from the tip of the needle to the most proximate area of the grinding behind the heel.
  • An “A” bevel needle has the longest and sharpest point & is used in blood collection as it slides through the skin very easily. The tip is very delicate & can easily be deflected or damaged.
  • A “C” bevel needle does not have a sharp point, & is therefore sturdier & less delicate. It is used in applications such as piercing a rubber stopper.
  • The “B” bevel needle has characteristics in-between the A & C bevels being relatively sturdy & sharp.
Non-coring Huber style needles are “B” bevelled needles with a relatively sharp point. The heel is  sandblasted to minimize coring & the point/tip is deflected – the tip is raised above the center line to minimize contact with the tissue or media.

How Huber Needle Work

The Huber Needle is inserted to pass through the implanted port septum and into the port reservoir, then the fluid is inserted to flow from the reservoir through the catheter which then finally enters into the patient’s vascular system.

How The Huber Point Preserves The Septum

When you access the silicone septum of the port with a Huber needle, a plug of silicone is not cut from the septum as happens with a standard hypodermic needle. The angle of the “B” bevel Huber causes a parting of the silicone septum as the needle enters the septum. Because the septum is fitted into the port under pressure, it closes up around the needle. Once the needle is removed you see only an impression of where the needle entered, no hole is made. Accessing the septum with a regular needle on a regular basis will result in a loss of integrity of the septum and leakage.

Huber Needle Risks

One of the common drawbacks of this type of needle is the high rate of needle stick injuries, it usually happens during the withdrawn of the needle from the implanted port system. As the port systems needs to be stabilized with one hand and the needle is taken out with the other hand, but due to the need of force to overcome the resistance of the elastic septum rebound effect occurs , this accounts for the majority of the Huber needle stick injuries. This very dangerous because ports mostly provide the venous access for patients with Hepatitis B and AIDS.

Variety of Huber needles

Huber needles comes in many varieties because of the importance of this needle, several sizes are found which is measured by gauges (it includes 19, 20, 22, 24, 25), these numbers stands for the needle diameter, The higher the gauge, The smaller the Needle. Also Huber needles are color coded for each of its length which come in sizes 0.5 inches to 1.5 inches to make finding the right size easier. The Huber needle can be straight or curved which each has a different use.huber Huber Needle
  • Straight Huber Needle :   Used for flushing out ports and catheters – administering injections – any short term applications.
  • Curved Huber Needle :   it is designed to be left in the implanted port for several days, they are Used for administering nutritional fluids, chemotherapy fluids and medications as antibiotics.