Why It's Not Good to Bend IV Catheters
Re: "Give Your IV Needles a Slight Bend" (December, page 19). Our recommendation to bend IV needle catheters about 15 degrees to aid the placement of the IV catheter into a vein could do more harm than good. Since the passage of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2000, most of the IV catheters used in the developed world today have safety mechanisms to cover the needle after use to prevent needlestick injuries. Bending the needle in the IV catheter can disable the safety mechanism before the IV catheter is even placed. Plus, if bent too far, the needle could also kink or break, presenting potential complications to the procedure or an increased hazard to the patient. The IV catheter displayed in the photo above is a BD Insyte Autoguard that has specific instructions in the Instructions for Use labeling that state, "do not bend the needle while using the product."