Pencil Point Needle
This variant of spinal needle is equipped with a tapered tip.
- The specially designed bevel of the needle ensures minimal leakage of CSF;
- Tapered point reduces damage to impacted tissue.
This variant is considered the standard needle for diagnostic lumbar puncture.
- Fitted with a cutting tip;
- Useful for diagnosing diseases afflicting the central nervous system, such as subarachnoid hemorrhage.
The patient is placed on their side (usually the left), and is directed to assume the fetal position, i.e. chin touching chest, back hunched over, and knees are bent toward the chest region. The skin located toward the lower back is aseptically treated, in order to protect against contamination from pathogenic microorganisms.
Once this preparatory phase is complete, local anesthetic is administered underneath the skin, and then injected along the needles projected path.
The needle is implanted in between the vertebrae (specifically the lumbar vertebrae) and is gently but firmly pressed further into the body until resistance is encountered, indicating that the lumbar cistern has been reached.
The needle is pressed further into the body again, until more resistance is encountered and notifies that the dura mater has been surpassed. At this point, the thinner arachnoid membrane is also contacted, and signifies that the needle is within the subarachnoid space. The stylet is withdrawn, and a small volume of cerebrospinal fluid is collected.
The procedure is completed by withdrawing the needle carefully, whilst applying moderate pressure to the site of impact. The positioned outlined above is optimal, as it does not alter the spine’s shape into a position that makes it difficult to obtain a fluid sample.
It is imperative that the device is not used if the packaging or seal is compromised. Evidence of this may suggest tampering or loss of sterility. If one should come across a device within comprised packaging, the correct course of action is to dispose of it quickly and safely, to prevent infection.
- Sharp needles made from stainless steel to reduce tissue trauma and risk of infection;
- Numerous varieties to cater to specific needs;
- Pre-sterilized allowing immediate use;
- Easily disposed;
- Smooth, sleek structure of needles allow for easy impact of tissue;
- Each size increment in the range of needles is color coded for easy distinction;
- Relatively inexpensive;
- Easy use (for trained physicians).
- It is of utmost importance that needles are not reused. Once used, the device is not fit to be salvaged for further used, as sterilization cannot be retained. Sharing needles can result in infections being transmitted between patients, or in the case of reuse, transmission between health practitioner and patient;
- Must prepare the device for use in a clean, sterile environment, absent of bodily fluids or other sources of contamination;
- Great precaution must be taken as to not touch the needle with hands or other potentially contaminated surfaces;
- Promptly and safely dispose of any needles that have touched a potentially contaminated surface;
- Take care when handling needles, as they are sharp and potentially dangerous if misused;
- Care must be taken when selecting the correct needle size – every patient requires a specific needle capacity;
- Because the back is a hard to access region and the location in which the needle is administer, the procedure must be undertaken by a trained, qualified medical practitioner. Patients must not attempt to perform the procedure by themselves, as it could result in injury.
Needles are made from high-grade stainless steel, which is an optimal material for clean, painless puncturing of the skin and spinal cord. It is important the material is of optimal quality to ensure patient comfort, as well as alleviating difficulty for the physician to administer.