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J Emerg Med. 2008 Feb;34(2):195-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2007.05.036. Epub 2007 Oct 1.

Making straight suture needles a little safer: a technique to keep fingers from harm's way.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, New York 10029, USA.


Straight suture needles are commonly employed to secure arterial and venous catheters to the skin. These needles have been demonstrated to be more dangerous than curved or blunt suture needles, with a higher rate of injury for health care workers. This article describes a technique for using the straight needle that may reduce the chances of injury. By utilizing the plastic needle sheath present in most central venous line kits as a "thimble," counter pressure and skin puncture may be achieved without bringing the fingers near the sharp end of the suture.

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