We should like to report an incident that occurred whilst performing spinal anaesthesia in an elderly patient using one of the new ‘non-Luer’ type needles .
The kit (Pajunk® UK Medical Products Ltd, Prestwick, Northumberland, UK) came with two non-Luer syringes, 5- and 2-ml, a 24-G spinal needle with an introducer and a (Luer) drawing-up needle that was connected to a Luer/non-Luer adaptor.
A mixture of levobupivacaine and fentanyl was drawn up into the non-Luer 5-ml syringe. Lidocaine 1% was drawn up into the 2-ml syringe but there was no needle for skin infiltration. The anaesthetic assistant suggested that the adapter may come apart (Fig. 6) from the drawing-up needle. With a little persuasion it came apart and the 25-G skin needle was then attached to the adapter and the 2-ml syringe.
The spinal was attempted with the 24-G non-Luer needle, but as could be predicted was unsuitable for an older person's back. The assistant produced the tried and tested (Luer) BD 22-G needle (Becton Dickinson UK Ltd, Oxford, UK), which was immediately successful in locating the subarachnoid space. Using the adapter that had been removed from the drawing-up needle, the non-Luer 5-ml syringe was connected to the Luer needle and a successful block was completed.
The anaesthetic assistant then remarked “Why bother with these new devices if you can get the old stuff to fit on as well?”