The Huber needle is a specially designed hollow needle that is used with a port-a-cath chemotherapy port. The needle has a long, inclined tip that can pass through the skin as well as the silicone barrier of the implanted port reservoir in order to provide a tremendous amount of comfort to the cancer patient while receiving chemotherapy without suffering.
The bevelled tip of the needle is not designed to dislodge the silicone from the needle port. Still, it prevents the silicone or skin from settling in the catheter entry line, and this is a very common complication and risk during catheter port operation or needle insertion.
The needle is named after its designer, Dr. Ralph L. Huber, a dentist who designed the Huber needle in a way that provides comfort to patients while receiving treatment and easy access to their bodies, so he designed the needle with a sharp, tilted tip.
He continued work on needle design after Dr. Edward B. Toohe, an anesthesiologist, developed the Huber needle so doctors could also use it in a spinal catheter, and he’s already succeeded.
Hopper needles can be used to treat many ailments with different ailments – they are used in dialysis, lap-band adjustments, blood transfusions, and intravenous cancer treatments. It can be used during an infusion appointment to give chemotherapy, antibiotics, saline, or blood transfusions. Huber needles can be left in place and attached to the patient’s body for a few hours or over several days if needed.
Hopper needles are designed in several sizes, lengths and scales to suit all uses and different therapeutic purposes. Physicians and nursing assistants must train themselves to know the appropriate needle gauge for their use in the specified treatment outlet. If a short needle is used, this will not allow blood to be drawn or infusion effectively, and this may lead to pain and distress for the patient.
If the needle is too long, the Huber needle may wobble relative to your port or rotate around it and will not lock, causing damage to the silicone seal. Most nurses hold the needle and Hopper catheter in place with tape or an occlusive dressing.