Be a Guidewire Guru!

Emergency Physician Dr Brett Nelson from sinaiem.us (a great ultrasound website) recently shared his neat little demonstration of how to straighten a guidewire with one hand. An essential skill if you want to be a guidewire guru!

This is Brett’s description of the trick:

With one hand, you can straighten out the curved end of a guidewire. This is useful when you need to insert the guidewire into the hub of a catheter or needle, and you have already taken the guidewire out of its sheath.

The guidewire actually consists of a coiled wire over a central wire core. Stabilizing the proximal part (with your palm and 3rd-5th fingers) allows your index finger and thumb to stretch the outer coil a bit which straightens the distal aspect of the wire.

Care must be taken not to hold the wire too tightly, which could cause the wire to kink and defeat the purpose of this trick.

You can also read the description of how to do this on Academic Life in Emergency Medicine’s Trick of the Trade: Straightening the Guidewire.

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