Exploring the Different Colours of Intravenous Cannula

When it comes to intravenous cannulas, the color coding system plays a significant role in identifying their characteristics and uses. Healthcare professionals use specific colors to differentiate the cannulas based on their unique features and intended purposes. In this blog post, we will delve into the different colors of intravenous cannulas and their significance in medical settings.

The Importance of Color Coding

Color coding is a crucial aspect of healthcare since it allows for easy identification and promotes patient safety. In the case of intravenous cannulas, different colors signify variations in gauge sizes, flow rates, and the types of patients they are suitable for. Let’s explore the most common colors:

Blue Intravenous Cannulas

Blue cannulas are typically the smallest in gauge size, commonly ranging from 24G to 26G. They are ideal for patients with fragile veins, such as children or the elderly. The smaller size facilitates gentler insertion and minimizes discomfort.

Green Intravenous Cannulas

Green cannulas usually have a larger gauge size, typically ranging from 18G to 20G. These cannulas are frequently used for regular fluid administration, as they allow for faster flow rates. They are more suitable for patients who require larger volumes of intravenous fluids or blood products.

Pink Intravenous Cannulas

Pink cannulas often fall within the 22G to 24G range and are commonly used for pediatric patients or individuals with small veins. They provide a good balance between flow rate and patient comfort. The pink color helps healthcare providers easily identify them, especially in emergency situations involving children.

Yellow Intravenous Cannulas

Yellow cannulas are associated with larger gauge sizes, typically ranging from 14G to 16G. These cannulas are mainly used for rapid fluid resuscitation, blood transfusions, or in situations where a higher flow rate is required. Patients with trauma or those undergoing surgery often require yellow cannulas.

White Intravenous Cannulas

White cannulas are commonly referred to as “butterfly” or “scalp vein” cannulas. They have a shorter length and smaller gauge size, typically around 21G to 23G. White cannulas are favored for superficial veins, such as those found on the scalp, hand, or foot.

Additional Color Codes

While the colors mentioned above are the most commonly used in healthcare settings, it’s essential to note that different institutions or regions may utilize additional color codes or have variations in size and labeling conventions. Always consult local guidelines and confirm the significance of colors in your specific healthcare facility.


Understanding the color coding system and the different colors of intravenous cannulas is crucial for healthcare professionals. It ensures proper selection and appropriate use, leading to enhanced patient care and improved outcomes.

Remember, this overview provides a general guide; always consult your organization’s protocols and guidelines for the most accurate information regarding intravenous cannula color coding.

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