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IV Cannulas

Identifying a Vein for Cannulation

February 15th, 2021

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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