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.

Chris is an Intensivist and ECMO specialist at the Alfred ICU in Melbourne. He is also the Innovation Lead for the Australian Centre for Health Innovation at Alfred Health and Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He is a co-founder of the Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network (ANZCEN) and is the Lead for the ANZCEN Clinician Educator Incubator programme. He is on the Board of Directors for the Intensive Care Foundation and is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He is an internationally recognised Clinician Educator with a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.

After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.

He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE.  He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.

His one great achievement is being the father of two amazing children.

On Twitter, he is @precordialthump.

| INTENSIVE | RAGE | Resuscitology | SMACC

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