question about angiocaths and injuries please

  1. hi, i hope i don't sound like an idiot here...
    But i'm a student nurse and my instructor and i were removing a size 24 angiocath from an infant. As she was unwrapping the tape from his leg, unbeknownced to me the angiocath had already fallen out...i noticed it when i felt something sharp and poking me in my palm.
    Told her about it, because it did feel sharp, she said if it went through my glove it would have an obvious hole in the glove but i know it would not if the bevel just poked through.
    I just wonder if i should worry about it poking me because i thought angiocaths were soft and flexible, or maybe it was just in such an awkward position that it did not bend.
    Is it possible to be stuck with one? Should i trust what my instructor said...this was a few weeks ago and as i'm reading one of my skills books it says that butterflys and angiocaths are common causes of injuries???????
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    About jrbsnstudent

    Joined: Dec '04; Posts: 1


  3. by   Dixielee
    If this was an existing IV and you were DC'ing it, there should have been no needle and no sharp edges. A 24 is tiny and very flexible so I don't see how it could puncture a glove, much less skin. I don't know what you felt, but it should not have been the very flexible catheter of a #24. As far as what your instructor said, there can be very small holes in a glove that do not show with the naked eye. That is why we still wash hands after removing gloves.

    Yes, angiocaths and butterflys are a common source of injuries because we are exposed to so many. The metal needle itself is the culprit though, not the plastic catheter. Many hospitals now use safety needles, and all should before too long. We use butterflys that can be pushed into a plastic sleeve with one hand so it is covered immediately after removing from the skin. The angiocaths I have used have several safety measures. One has a button that is pushed as soon as the catheter is threaded and the needle retracts into the handle. 2 other types have metal "covers" for the needle end that automatically engage when you remove the needle from the catheter.

    We will never be able to completely eliminate needle sticks, but new technology is making it easier to be safe.
    Last edit by Dixielee on Dec 20, '04