An essential skill of any innovative troubleshooter in the Emergency Department is the ability to recognize when one piece of equipment may be used elsewhere. For instance, what’s your go-to approach when looking for a spare guidewire? Let’s say you are trying to salvage an ultrasound-guided basilic vein IV catheterization.

Here’s where I go for guidewires:

  • Central line kits
  • Pneumothorax pigtail kits
  • Seldinger-based cricothyrotomy kits

Trick of the Trade

Seldinger-based Arrow arterial lines

Thanks to Dr. Kennedy Hall (UCSF-SFGH EM resident), he recently discovered that the Seldinger-based arterial lines, made by Arrow, have removable guidewires! If you look closely along the length of the transparent guidewire sheath, there is a narrow slit which allows you to remove the guidewire. The added bonus is that there is a black plastic handle at one end of the guidewire which can protect against losing the guidewire into a catheter.

Whoa, it’s like magic. 


Neither Dr. Hall or I have any financial disclosures with the Arrow company.
Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Editor-in-Chief
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD


Professor of Emerg Med at UCSF-Zuckerberg San Francisco General. Founder of ALiEM @aliemteam #PostitPearls
Michelle Lin, MD