StraightNeedleYou are finishing up a successful subclavian line procedure. You insert the straight-needle suture needle through the skin to secure the line. When trying to pull it out, you accidentally poke yourself!

This is actually a common scenario for a needlestick injury. Although many central line kits now have curved suture needles, many still have straight needles. How can you avoid a needlestick?

Trick of the Trade:

Use a needle hub as a thimble-like protector

Thanks to Dr. Bret Nelson (Mount Sinai) and for the video and great tip! 

Here’s a variation on this trick by Dr. Haney Mallemat (@CriticalCareNow) and

Nelson BP. Making straight suture needles a little safer: a technique to keep fingers from harm’s way. J Emerg Med. 2008 Feb; 34(2):195-7. Epub 2007 Oct 1. Pubmed

Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Founder and CEO
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 SF General. ALiEM Founder @aliemteam #PostitPearls at Bio:
Michelle Lin, MD