Archive April 2019 XX, No. 4

Ideas That Work: Needlestick Prevention

Fallen Suture Needles? Let Magnetic Sweeper Find Them on the OR Floor

Stacie Lovellette, CST
MAGNETIC ATTRACTION A magnetic sweeper is a handy tool to have around for fallen suture needles, which are hard to see and even harder to pick up.

Our nurses and techs used to crawl around on their hands and knees in search of a suture needle missing from the final count. Not only were we at risk of a needlestick, but these tiny needles were extremely difficult to find. Now we stand upright when we search for a missing needle, rolling a magnetic sweeper across the OR floor to find fallen needles. When the sweeper picks up a needle (or a blade or any other sharp), we use tape to remove it to guard against getting stuck. You can buy a magnetic needle finder from a surgical vendor for about $200, or you can pick one up at your local home improvement store — builders, mechanics and woodworkers use the sweepers to pick up nails and screws off of workshop floors.

Stacie Lovellette, CST
Parkview Surgery One
Fort Wayne, Ind.

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