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IV Cannulas

Identifying a Vein for Cannulation


Potential Cannula Sites

  • Dorsum of the hand - small veins, and more likely to clot
  • Cephalic vein (lateral) in the forearm - large vein, doesn't limit movement
  • Basilic vein (medial) in the forearm large vein, doesn't limit movement, more difficult to access due to positioning
  • Antecubital fossa veins - limit movement, may extravasate due to flexion at the elbow

Choosing the Right Vein

    • Do

    • Ask the patient about their preference of site
    • Use the nondominant arm if possible
    • Try to use the forearm where possible
    • Don't

    • Absolutely do not use the same arm as an AV fistula
    • Don't use the same arm as a past lymph node dissection or mastectomy
    • Don’t use a limb affected by stroke
    • Don't insert an IVC through a burn, oedema or infected tissue
    • Don’t use a limb that has a DVT
    • Avoid the lower limb if possible due to risk of DVT and the fact that they limit mobility
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