THE USE of a slotted needle or trocar in combination with an elastic, intravenous catheter1 allows for ease of catheter introduction, while providing a ready means for the prompt removal of the needle following catheter placement.
The vena puncture and catheter introduction are performed in the standard fashion. After the catheter is in place and the introducing needle has been withdrawn from the vena puncture site, the needle is separated from the catheter by pulling the elastic catheter through the longitudinal slot in the needle (Fig 1).
The slotted needle is made from a standard, thin-walled trocar by cutting a longitudinal slot through its wall (Fig 2). This is conveniently accomplished with a fine jeweler's saw. The width of the slot, which is usually about 20% of the circumference of the needle, is empirically determined, being just wide enough to allow the catheter to be drawn through it. The