Joint Aspiration

MRCS Part B OSCE Revision


Joint Aspiration

Stacks Image 58501


  • Sterile gloves
  • Wound pack (tray, swabs, isolation drape)
  • Skin prep (chlorhexadine)
  • x2 specimen pots
  • x2 50ml syringes
  • x1 white needle
  • Plaster
  • Microbiology form
  • Sharps bin


  • Wash your hands
  • Introduce yourself and explain the procedure gaining verbal consent
  • Palpate effusion with the knee extended

The Procedure

  • Assemble equipment using sterile technique
  • Prep the superolateral area around 2cm (finger breadths) above the superolateral margin of the patella
  • Make a hole in the isolation drape and place it over this area
  • Insert the white needle at 45 degrees aspirating as you go beneath the patella
  • Aspirate the effusion to dry
  • Place aspirate into x2 sterile pots
  • Gently reeve the needle placing a swab over the entry point
  • Place a plaster over the wound
  • Thank the patient and dispose of sharps
  • Label and send the samples


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