Healthcare and Medicine Reference
Once the aspiration is complete, withdraw the needle and apply
pressure to the area with sterile gauze.
Place a sterile dressing over the site of aspiration.
Remember to consider other options such as steristrip and gluing
Fully document the procedure, including consent, local
before you start - if in doubt ask advice from a senior.
Make sure you have all your equipment ready before you start
anaesthetic and volume used, and colour and volume of
and that the area is well lit.
Position yourself carefully - bending over awkwardly for half an
hour isn`t going to help your back.
Use plenty of local anaesthetic, antiseptic solution and irrigation.
Samples to be sent
Place the aspirate into a minimum of two universal containers.
These should be sent directly to the laboratory for crystal analysis,
microscopy, Gram staining and culture.
Take care to choose the appropriate size of suture.
Nylon sutures can slip easily so use fi ve knots for extra security.
Don`t forget to check the patient`s tetanus status.
Anderson LG. (1991) Aspirating and injecting the acutely painful joint. Emerg
Med 23: 77-94.
Ma O, Cline D, Tintinalli J, Kelen G, Stapczynski J. (2004) Emergency Medicine
Just the Facts , 2nd edn. McGraw-Hill, London.
Owen DS. (2004) Aspiration and injection of joints and soft tissues. In:
Finestein G, Harris E, Budd R, McInnes I, Buddy S. (eds) Kelly's Textbook
of Rheumatology , 7th edn. WB Saunders, Philadelphia.
Schumacher HR. (1997) Arthrocentesis of the knee. Hosp Med 33: 60-4.
Wyatt J, Illingworth R, Clancy M, Munro P, Robertson C. (2005) Oxford
Handbook of Accident and Emergency Medicine , 2nd edn. Oxford University
Iatrogenic trauma to surrounding structures including the joint
Reaccumulation of joint fl uid.