Butterflys as Infusion Devices?

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    This is new to me, but I just wanted to put the question out there. There seems to be a few threads regarding using a butterfly needle (that one would use for a blood draw) as a device to infuse in the short term.

    Is this common practice? What is the advantage of this?
  2. 13 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    I think clinicians often mix up the terms as I find many patients do as well. A very common peripheral IV device is a Catheter over Needle (CON) device. There are several products and products lines available. The Saf t intima and the Nexiva are two such products that are CON devices with wings that serve a grip function and a securement function ans are often referred to as "butterflys". othere CON devices such as the Introcan come in winged versions and non winged versions

    The other device you may be referring to is a blood drawing device (winged devices) that come in safety and non safety needle configurations. The non safety are the ones you may see used for short term infusion. These types or devices were originally used for infusion and patients often only had IVFs administered during the evening hours, They would often just go in the ACF and put an arm board on and infuse while the patient slept. It is only been since 1964 that Deseret introduced the first disposable angiocath.

    These winged needle devices can be used for infusion but they tend to infiltrate fairly easily with prolonged use.I have seen them used in infusion centers where the patient will be getting a short term infusion or just to give a push dose. Historically they have a low infection risk but they are not practical for routine IV therapy in hospital settings.
    chare and jadelpn like this.
  4. 0
    Thank you for that clarification.
  5. 1
    They are sometimes used for Subcutaneous infusions in home services.
    Altra likes this.
  6. 0
    The butterfly needles we use to draw blood are also indicated for infusions up to 2 hours. I have never seen them used for such a purpose. I guess the advantage would be if you were in a setting where you did a lot of blood draws and only short infusions you wouldn't have to stock or train on multiple devices. We have the BD Safety-Lok device.
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    I've never done this but have had it done to me... only in very short term instances in that, I was having an MRI with contrast, they pulled me out of the machine, inserted a butterfly, pushed IV contrast and then removed the butterfly. I haven't had this done in a long time as the place I go now puts in peripheral IVs before they put you in the machine.
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    Quote from KelRN215
    I've never done this but have had it done to me... only in very short term instances in that, I was having an MRI with contrast, they pulled me out of the machine, inserted a butterfly, pushed IV contrast and then removed the butterfly. I haven't had this done in a long time as the place I go now puts in peripheral IVs before they put you in the machine.
    I don't think I'd be comfortable with giving up IV access as soon as the dye is pushed on the off chance of an allergic reaction.
  9. 1
    Quote from blondy2061h
    I don't think I'd be comfortable with giving up IV access as soon as the dye is pushed on the off chance of an allergic reaction.
    I've been having MRIs with gadolinium for 11 years so it's fairly well established that I'm not allergic to it. Though, the last time I went to the place that did this (which was 4 years ago), they had changed their policy and were placing peripheral IVs prior to the scan and leaving them in place until the scan was complete.
    blondy2061h likes this.
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    We recently had an inservice on an IV med (I cannot remember the name of the med) to treat hereditary angioedema. Basically the patient cannulates themselves at home with a butterfly needle and injects themselves with the med. I would not trust a butterfly to not infiltrate over any longer period of time, but this is one case where I have heard of it being used for an infusion.
  11. 0
    Quote from psu_213
    We recently had an inservice on an IV med (I cannot remember the name of the med) to treat hereditary angioedema. Basically the patient cannulates themselves at home with a butterfly needle and injects themselves with the med. I would not trust a butterfly to not infiltrate over any longer period of time, but this is one case where I have heard of it being used for an infusion.
    I have a friend who does this. I don't know the name of the medication either, though.


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