Patient Questions & Answers

GRIPPER MICRO® and needle protection device


Please see below for common questions and answers related to the GRIPPER MICRO® portal access safety needle

1) Will the GRIPPER MICRO® safety needle core the port septum since it is not a Huber needle?

No. The sharp trocar needle in the inserter is solid as opposed to being hollow as with Huber or hypodermic needles.  Therefore it will not core the septum when the port is accessed with the inserter in place. 

2) Will the tip of the needle ‘burr’ if it hits the bottom of the port?

No.  The solid core trocar needle will not burr.  In addition, the needle tip passes through the blunt cannula as the inserter arm is lifted rather than through the skin so you should not feel the needle as it is being removed.

3) How is the right length needle chosen?

Typically, your nurse will choose the right length and size needle for you.

Of course, you can learn the rule yourself. A good “rule of thumb” is if the port is raised and visible without palpating, a ¾” (19mm) needle length is sufficient.  If the port is easily palpated (relatively shallow placement), a 1” (25 mm) needle length should be used. It is better to err on the side of a too long needle because the infusion site can be advanced if the blunt cannula has passed completely through the septum.  If the needle is too short, the blunt cannula may not clear the septum (no flow) or the foam will be compressed making it more difficult to de-access the infusion site.  

4) How is the needle length chosen with the GRIPPER MICRO® needle?

The stated needle length is measured from the bottom of the molded plastic infusion site to the tip of the trocar needle. The foam pad is included in this measurement. The distance from the tip of the trocar needle to the tip of the blunt cannula is approximately the same as the length of the bevel opening of a huber-tipped needle.

5) If the blunt cannula tip touches the bottom of the port won’t it occlude the flow?

No. Our testing shows that the septum will “spring” back enough following insertion to prevent the blunt cannula tip from resting completely on the portal floor.   

6) Can my health care professional stick a needle through the site septum to inject a medication or draw blood?

No. The site septum allows the trocar needle to pass through but may never be used as an injection site. The GRIPPER MICRO® needle has an infusion line attached to the infusion site with a Luer lock connector. If required there are GRIPPER MICRO® needles available with needle-free y-sites – please speak to your health care professional or contact Smiths Medical Customer Services.

7) Will there be a rebound when I remove the infusion site from the port? Can I or my health care professional be injured by the blunt cannula?

The GRIPPER MICRO® needle's infusion site removes easily from the port even after several days. The cannula is blunt to minimize any risk of injury compared to a sharp needle.

While conducting our testing, no clinician experienced a rebound effect during de-access, nor were any injuries reported. 

8) Can the GRIPPER MICRO® needle be used for power injection?

No. The GRIPPER MICRO® needle may be used up to 45 psi or the device maximum rating if below 45 psi.

GRIPPER PLUS® POWER P.A.C. needles are used for power injections, please speak to your health care professional or contact Smiths Medical Customer Services.

9) Can I take a bath or shower with the GRIPPER MICRO® needle in place?

Yes. Typically the GRIPPER MICRO® needle is covered with a clear dressing to keep the area clean. You will need to ask your nurse for instructions on how to keep your dressing dry while taking a bath or shower.

10) When should I call my health care provider? 

  • If you note any redness, swelling, leaking of fluid or drainage , or feel pain around the GRIPPER MICRO® needle
  • If you run a temperature
  • If your dressing comes off and exposes the GRIPPER MICRO® needle
  • If you become dizzy, short of breath, feel faint, or have chills

11) Can a blood sample for lab testing be drawn from the cannula?

Yes.  Your doctor would need to specifically give an order to the nurse stating blood can be drawn from the cannula

Please see the Instructions for Use for a complete listing of the indications, contraindications, warnings and precautions.