Filter needles for glass vials?


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379 Posts

Specializes in critical care.

On a related note, if you use a regular needle to draw from a vial, does anybody switch to a fresh, sharp needle before giving an injection? I understand the rationale that piercing the stopper dulls the needle, and a dull needle makes for a more painful injection. My instructor last semester did not change the needle. Not sure whether this is a practice I should implement this semester, or if I will be laughed off the floor?

Specializes in Gen Med.

When you draw out of an ampule use the filter needle when drawing up the medication. Once you have the amount of the drug you need, change the needle on the syringe to the one you need for the method of medication delivery (ie. IM injection 1-1/2 inch needle or 18g for adding medication to an IVPB).

Specializes in Gen Med.

Small hint of advice: When breaking the neck of the ampule, use the cover of the alcohol swab so you don't cut yourself.

Sun0408, ASN, RN

1,761 Posts

Specializes in Trauma Surgical ICU. Has 4 years experience.

Have you asked someone where they are?? Simple I know but many things are not "seen" but still available.

Yes, we have filter needles and use them daily.


207 Posts

Specializes in Psychiatry, ICU, ER. Has 4 years experience.

I meant ampule but I actually use them to draw up everything. And to the poster who switches needles out, that is my practice.

miss81, BSN, RN

342 Posts

Specializes in Surgery, Tele, OB, Peds,ED-True Float RN. Has 8 years experience.

Never seen a filter needle, ever! Not in nursing school or since I've been working for almost 10 yrs (in med-surg and critical care). And, all of our narcs come in ampoules. :confused:


132 Posts

I always use a filter needle to draw from an ampoule, but not all units stock them at all times. I've seen many nurses use a TB syringe and say they think it's small enough to act as a filter, but that doesn't cut it for me. And you can't remove the needle from those syringes and swap out with a new one, so whatever you think you're "filtering" is sitting in the needle waiting to be injected. These folks aren't really following through with their thought trains...

Just because I can't SEE the glass bits doesn't mean they aren't there, as another poster pointed out above. Always a filter needle and then a new needle for whatever the situation calls for.

51 Posts

Has 2 years experience.

On a related topic, the epi we have here comes in ampules. If we were to need to administer epi STAT due to anaphylaxis, do you have the time to draw up with filter needle then administer the epi?

I have never had to use epi in this way before, but it is my huge fear!!!! Hard enough to remember the dang doses of epi, but to also have to remember filter needle!?

On another note, there is no excuse coverage for the nurse to not use a filter needle on ampule. Ignorance is no excuse either, so if you facility does not have filter needles GET THEM!! I cant imagine glass shards in an IV....eeek!!!

subee, MSN, CRNA

4,768 Posts

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 51 years experience.

In 30 years of giving anesthesia, I've probably opened about 20,000 ampules without a does every other anesthesia practitioner and have never heard of or read about glass shards being identified as problematic in real life. Oh good grief, I hope the committees that write the cook books to micromanage every aspect of our practice never hear about this one!:)


115 Posts

Specializes in Labor and Delivery, Newborn, Antepartum. Has 7 years experience.

we use filter straws with our ampules

Specializes in Cardiac/Step-Down, MedSurg, LTC. Has 6 years experience.

Very infrequently do I have to use filter straws, but on the rare occasion when I have to draw up phenergan, I always use one. I remember when I did a L+D rotation in college we used them frequently to draw up Vitamin K.

For some reason, there are always MILLIONS of them stocked on my floor. Someone must like them a lot!