How to Insert a Huber Needle

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Huber needles are needles used to administer long-term chemotherapy in cancer patients. They are inserted into a port surgically installed under the skin so that the patient need only be injected once, in most cases. Huber needles are also placed on a syringe that swivels to lay flat against the patient's chest during the chemotherapy.
Never use a Huber needle if you have no medical training. Allow a qualified professional to apply the needle, or apply the needle only under close supervision.

Things You'll Need

  • Huber needle kit
  • Medical gloves
  • Patient
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap and put on sterile medical gloves. Avoiding infection is paramount during any medical procedure.

  • Gently touch the patient's chest to find the needle port. It will be a round bump about the size of a quarter.

  • Open the kit and lay the sterile dressing on a flat, clean, dry surface. Snap the capped Huber needle onto the 10 milliliter syringe.

  • Clean the top of the Heparin vial with an alcohol swab and set it aside to dry. This will prevent bacteria from sticking to the needle when it is filled.

  • Remove the needle cap; do not touch the needle. Pull five cubic centimeters of air by pulling the plunger back.

  • Push the needle into the top of the Heparin vial and turn the whole thing upside-down. Push the five cubic centimeters of air into the vial and pull back the vial to retrieve five cubic centimeters of fluid.

  • Clean the port area on the patient's chest with alcohol swabs for a full minute. Allow the area to dry while you push air out of the Huber needle. Press the plunger in until fluid squirts from the needle.

  • Push the needle at a 90 degree angle through the skin in the center of the port. Wait for blood to appear around the needle to confirm proper needle placement. Clean the blood away by flushing it with saline. Fold the syringe slowly and gently against patient's chest.

Tips & Warnings

  • If blood does not appear around the needle on insertion, remove the needle and consult the attending RN or contact a doctor.
  • Never attempt administering medication via syringe without training or the aid of a heath-care professional.

References

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