Subcutaneous liquid infusion with a butterfly needle or winged infusion set is one of the options for medication administration because it’s easy to use, involves minimal pain, and can stay in place for up to 14 days, depending on the type of medicine. This medical device is also used for blood collection and IV therapy. Because a winged infusion set is a bit different from the typical straight needles, there are specific ways for inserting it properly
So how should you insert subcutaneous butterfly needles? After preparing the infusion set, medications, and injection site, hold the plastic wings together with your thumb and index finger, ensuring that the textured portion of the plastic wings is facing down. Pinch the skin at the injection site and insert the needle at a 30 to 40° angle, ensuring it enters the subcutaneous tissue or fatty layer between the skin and muscles.
A butterfly needle, also called a winged infusion set, is a medical device with a tiny needle and two plastic flaps on either side. It’s also used for administering fluids into the body or extracting a blood sample via the intravenous route.
As a device for subcutaneous infusion, a butterfly needle is usually preferred for medication administration for patients in the palliative care unit when they could no longer take their medicine by mouth. The set is easy to insert and can stay inserted for up to 14 days. It’s also not painful for the patient due to the small needle. Your butterfly needle for subcutaneous infusion includes the following:
During subcutaneous fluid infusion, you must prepare all the needed tools and have them within arm’s reach to avoid infections, injury, and other accidents. Some of the equipment you must have prepared before performing the SC injection are:
These are the basic tools you’re going to need for subcutaneous infusion. The details may still differ depending on the patient’s treatment plan and the policies in your practice. You must ensure that your tools are complete, so you’ll have a safe and efficient subcutaneous fluid therapy administration.
Subcutaneous administration using a butterfly needle can be tricky for some medical professionals, especially if they’re still starting their careers. This device is different from other needles that you can hold with more fingers. Butterfly needles are easier to use because they allow optimal motor control as you grip them close to the needle tip. The steps for performing a subcutaneous injection with a butterfly needle are as follows:
22. Ensure recording the insertion of the continuous subcutaneous infusion on your report, including the following information:
These are the steps to performing a subcutaneous injection with a butterfly needle. Ensure that you remember these steps and receive the utmost training and practice to avoid adverse effects.
Before inserting the butterfly needle into the subcutaneous tissue for medication or IV administration, you mustn’t forget to prime it first. This is necessary for extraction or infusion via the subcutaneous route. To prime your winged infusion set, you must:
These are some ways to prime your butterfly needle for subcutaneous administration. The butterfly needle is one of the easiest and less painful devices usually used for injecting medication in a palliative care patient. It’s also used for intravenous infusion when doing blood draws or inserting IV fluids. Many practitioners also note how this set can be pretty easy to use with ample practice.
Choosing the accurate infusion site for subcutaneous medication with a butterfly needle is necessary for ensuring the patient receives their medication. The subcutaneous route tends to be more suitable for some medicines because it allows a slower diffusion and sustained absorption. In choosing a suitable injection site, remember that it must:
The abdomen or the chest are some of the most common infusion sites. Some sites aren’t recommended to be inserted with a butterfly needle for medication administration. The areas that shouldn’t be administered with a winged infusion set are those with:
Before choosing an infusion site for SC injection, healthcare providers usually assess the patient for the best area to insert the butterfly needle for continuous subcutaneous infusion. This step is necessary for setting up the patient’s treatment plan for success and preventing adverse reactions and complications.
The longevity of the butterfly needle’s installation also depends on the injection site and the type of cannula you’ve inserted. You might also want to check out for adverse effects, influenced by factors, like:
Because of this, medical professionals usually change the infusion site every 7 days to ensure patency and rotate the sites. This can also prevent tissue damage in the patient. They also ensure inspecting the site regularly to avoid any complications.
Ensuring the infusion site’s normal condition is crucial for promoting the patient’s welfare, especially when they’re receiving their medications via a subcutaneous route. When checking the injection site, you might want to inspect for the following:
You must be wary of these signs when inspecting the injection site. Early detection of these adverse effects can mitigate the risks and prevent any complications. You might also want to check the patient regularly by:
These are some things to remember when a patient has a continuous subcutaneous infusion. As mentioned, you must rotate the infusion sites. Since a foreign object is inserted into their bodies for long periods, you must always check for adverse reactions.
Healthcare providers regularly inspect the patient’s continuous subcutaneous infusion to prevent or detect side effects and complications early on. If you spot any complication on a patient’s infusion site, you must:
These are some protocols to remember if you encounter adverse reactions or complications from a subcutaneous fluid infusion. Early detection is crucial to reduce long-term and serious effects on the patient, so you might want to check the site regularly.
Butterfly needles are used for subcutaneous fluid infusion. Patients in the palliative care unit usually receive their medications through these medical devices because they involve minimal pain due to the size of the needles and can stay in the body for several days. Because of this, learning how to properly insert and manage these needles are crucial for promoting the patient’s welfare. You might want to choose high-quality items for your practice.
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