Intravenous Cannulation (Internal Medicine)

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  • Infusion of IV fluids
  • Abnormalities of the overlying skin (cellulitis, burns, etc.)
  • Abnormalities of the extremity (trauma, ipsilateral radical mastectomy, presence of an arteriovenous fistula)
  • Gloves, antiseptic solution
  • Rubber elastic tourniquet
  • Local anesthetic solution, 25-gauge needle, and small syringe (optional)
  • Intravenous catheter
  • If phlebotomy is required, 5- to 10-mL syringe or vacuum bottles and vacuum bottle holder to collect the sample and specimen bottles
  • Appropriate IV fluid or saline “lock” setup and IV tubing
  • Sterile saline for the flush or IV fluids
  • Cotton balls or gauze for bleeding and sterile dressing
  • Upper extremity veins are preferable.
  • Commonly used veins include the dorsal metacarpal veins, the basilic vein, and the cephalic vein.

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The full content of this section includes:
  • Step-by-step text instructions for performing the procedure
  • Clinical pearls providing practical clinical tips from medical experts
  • Patient safety guidelines consistent with Joint Commission and OHSA standards
  • Links to medical evidence and related procedures

  • Frequently reassess the IV line.
  • Flush the line at least every 8 hours.
  • Change peripheral lines every 3 to 4 days.
  • Infiltration and extravasation of IV fluids
  • Arterial placement
  • Air embolism
  • Catheter fracture and embolism
  • Infection
  • Thrombophlebitis
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