The needle shaft must be maintained in a sterile state prior to insertion. Needles should be manipulated in such a way that the practitioner's fingers do not touch the shaft. If there is difficulty in inserting a long needle, such as that used in puncturing GB 30 huantiao or BL 54 zhibian by just grasping its handle, the shaft should be held in place with a sterile cotton wool ball or swab. The use of disposable sterile surgical gloves or finger stalls makes it easy to manipulate needles without contamination.
On withdrawing a needle, a sterile cotton wool ball should be used to press the skin at the insertion site, thus protecting the patient's broken skin surface from contact with potential pathogens, and the practitioner from exposure to the used needle shaft and the patient's body fluid. All compresses or cotton wool balls contaminated by blood or body fluids must be discarded in a special container for infectious waste.