Intraosseous (IO) needle insertion is becoming a much more frequently utilised method of rapidly accessing a patients central circulation when they have an immediate need for drugs or fluids and have limited or nil vascular access.
One of the most popular devices for inserting the IO needle is the EZ-IO.
It takes only a few seconds to insert, has a very high first pass success rate (92–97%) and can be used to infuse anything that you could give via a peripheral or central line. Yup, anything. That includes drugs, blood products, CT contrast, even fibrinolytics.
These days you often see IO insertion considered quite quickly in emergent situations with unconscious patients.
But we are still a little tentative in patients who are awake. I mean, after all, you are about to drill a bloody big needle into their bone. Yipes!
But one of the advantages of the EZ-IO is that it really does not hurt that much.
Don’t believe me? Then check these short clips of people having IO access via their proximal humerus:
I could write a whole post on the art of intraosseous access, but my mate Kane (over at Life In The Fast Lane) has already done such a superb job.
So if you want to learn a little more take the link to a quick little QA session.