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Does Particle Of Broken Needle During IV Move To The Heart Or Brain?

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Posted on Fri, 6 Jun 2014
Question: May I ask something.
I read article for the broken needle in vein.
After reading that I got the question.
If needle broke in arm's vein durinng the intravenous injection, do the particle of broken needle move to the heart or brain or block the vessel?
or it puncture the vessel? What happen?
Thanks in advance...
doctor
Answered by Dr. Dr. Ivan Romich (19 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Hi and welcome to HCM

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for the query.
This is very interesting question. Such cases are very rare, but I saw one case of needle embolism while working in ER. When needle is broken, it is usually washed from wound and it rarely enters into vein or deeper tissue. If it happens then pathophysiologicaly, large parts of needle would stuck at the place of needle insertion or close to this place and could cause phlebitis or local skin infection, and rarely blood poisoning. Small particles of broken needle could enter into bloodstream and cause distal consequences if enter right hear and lungs. So it could cause pulmonary-embolism or endocarditis. Systemic embolism are impossible since needle particle cant enter left heart so it cant go to brain or other parts of body beside lungs. Of course, this scenario is rare and usually it is seen in intravenous drug users so most reported cases are seen in this population where large veins such as femoral vein or neck veins are used as site of puncture.
WIsh you good health. Feel free to ask.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Dr. Ivan Romich

General Surgeon

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 13873 Questions

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Does Particle Of Broken Needle During IV Move To The Heart Or Brain?

Brief Answer: Hi and welcome to HCM Detailed Answer: Thanks for the query. This is very interesting question. Such cases are very rare, but I saw one case of needle embolism while working in ER. When needle is broken, it is usually washed from wound and it rarely enters into vein or deeper tissue. If it happens then pathophysiologicaly, large parts of needle would stuck at the place of needle insertion or close to this place and could cause phlebitis or local skin infection, and rarely blood poisoning. Small particles of broken needle could enter into bloodstream and cause distal consequences if enter right hear and lungs. So it could cause pulmonary-embolism or endocarditis. Systemic embolism are impossible since needle particle cant enter left heart so it cant go to brain or other parts of body beside lungs. Of course, this scenario is rare and usually it is seen in intravenous drug users so most reported cases are seen in this population where large veins such as femoral vein or neck veins are used as site of puncture. WIsh you good health. Feel free to ask.