What are Huber needles and Implanted Ports?
Huber needles are an alternative to other infusion delivery systems. They are used in conjunction with patient implanted ports and are used for patient therapies requiring repeated vascular access and long-term fluid therapies. Implanted ports were developed in the early 1990’s as an alternative to long-term tunneled catheters.
Implanted port systems consist of an injection port with a self-sealing septum and a radiopaque catheter that extends just above the superior vena cava for faster dilution and more effective flow of the injected fluid into the patient’s circulatory system.
Port systems are used for the withdrawal of blood samples and the infusion of medications, total parenteral nutritional solutions, blood products and imaging solutions.
What is special about Huber needles?
Huber needles optimize percutaneous access to the septum of a port insertion with non-coring needle through the septum of the product. The needle is inserted percutaneously through the port septum and into the port reservoir. The injection fluid then flows from the reservoir through the catheter and into the patient’s vascular system.
Risks associated with Huber needles...
The tip of Huber needles is very sharp and exposes the clinician to needle stick injuries. In particular, the removal of Huber needles requires the use of the non-dominant hand of the clinician to stabilize the implanted port, while the needle is withdrawn from the septum. Rebound injuries are common with Huber needles due to the unusual force required to overcome the resistance of the elastic septum. This rebound effect accounts for a majority of Huber needle stick injuries.
This is particularly troublesome because ports are used often to provide venous access for patients with Hepatitis B and AIDS.
How can this risk be overcome?
We have developed our huber needle designs by carefully listening and understanding clinical needs. Clinicians emphasized that safe and effective needle stick protection was critical for clinicians and that comfort was important for patients.
EMED was a pioneer in the design and marketing of huber needles in the early 1990’s. For the last two decades we have played an important role in the development, manufacturing and licensing of conventional and safety huber designs.
EMED is currently working on next generation Huber safety devices that offer superior features and simplify procedures with important advantages including:
- Minimal change in user technique / ease of learning
- Safety should not interfere with the normal use of the product.
- Stability in situ
- Injection site visibility
- Passive activation (no need for clinician manipulation) OR
- Single handed operation to activate safety mechanism, OR
- Simple manipulation
- DEHP-free and Latex-free to permit use of device with lipids and Chemo-therapy drugs
- Low profile
- Small footprint
- Handle to inject the needle into difficult ports
- Hands not exposed to needle during any part of the use of device
- Color coded needle gauge sizes
- Various needle lengths from ½” to 1½”
- Availability of needles and needle sets
- Available with and without injection sites (safety injection valves)
- Visual and audible confirmation of safety being active
- Meet NIOSH/CDC criteria
- Training materials / In-service / Video
- Special removal devices are desirable because they allow removal of the Huber needle with one hand and the other hand can be used to perform a positive pressure flush during de cannulation. This simultaneous flush and lock technique helps maintain catheter patency.