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Learning Centre-Butterfly Needle
Update:2017-05-26
A butterfly needle is a short needle with a small diameter attached to a thin, flexible tube. At the far end of the line is a connector that will attach to a collection bottle, vacuum tube holder, a syringe, or to tubing from an infusion pump or transfusion bag. The needle may have a safety device that will slide over it and lock after it is used, to help prevent needlestick injuries.

Butterfly needles may be used in several settings. These simple IV needles can be used for blood collection, a chemo infusion, to give antibiotics, pain medications, or saline fluid. Butterfly needles may be left in place for a few hours or over five to seven days if properly secured.

These needles come in several lengths and gauges, with color-coded wings, needle guards, and in some models, retractable needles.


Butterfly needles are inserted through your skin into a vein at a very low angle. The fastest needle stick is the least painless – unless you move around when you see the needle coming! The advantages of using a butterfly needle are that it can be very precisely placed and it is able to enter smaller, more superficial veins.