How to Fix an IV Cannula


An intravenous (IV) cannula is a crucial medical device used to deliver medications, fluids, or blood products directly into a patient’s bloodstream. It is essential to ensure that the cannula is properly fixed to prevent complications and ensure accurate delivery of treatments. In this blog post, we will guide you through the steps on how to fix an IV cannula effectively and safely.

Step 1: Gather the necessary materials

Before fixing an IV cannula, make sure you have the following items:

  • Sterile gloves
  • Antiseptic solution (e.g., alcohol swab)
  • IV cannula
  • Sterile dressing
  • Tape

Step 2: Prepare the patient and yourself

Prior to fixing the IV cannula, it is important to ensure both the patient and yourself are prepared:

  • Explain the procedure and obtain consent from the patient.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and put on sterile gloves.
  • Assess the patient’s arm and select an appropriate insertion site.

Step 3: Cleanse the insertion site

Proper site preparation is vital to reduce the risk of infection. Follow these steps to cleanse the insertion site:

  1. Open the antiseptic solution and use it to wipe the area in a circular motion.
  2. Allow the antiseptic to dry completely before proceeding.

Step 4: Insert the cannula

Now it’s time to insert the IV cannula:

  1. Gently hold the patient’s arm and stabilize the vein.
  2. Insert the cannula at a slight angle, bevel up.
  3. Advance the cannula until a flashback of blood is seen.
  4. Lower the angle and advance the cannula further into the vein.
  5. Remove the needle and gently push the catheter until it’s secured in the vein.

Step 5: Secure the cannula

Properly securing the cannula prevents accidental dislodgement. Follow these steps:

  1. Apply sterile dressing over the insertion site and ensure it covers the cannula hub.
  2. Use tape to secure the dressing, ensuring it doesn’t restrict blood flow or feel tight on the patient.

Step 6: Check for proper placement

After fixing the IV cannula, it is crucial to verify proper placement:

  • Ensure the cannula is not lodging in a valve or bifurcation.
  • Check for signs of swelling, redness, or pain around the insertion site.
  • Confirm the patient is receiving fluids or medications through the cannula.

Step 7: Dispose of sharps and document

Safely dispose of any used materials and document the procedure in the patient’s medical record.

Tips and Precautions:

  • Always follow proper hand hygiene and wear gloves when handling IV cannulas.
  • Ensure the cannula package is sealed and sterile before use.
  • Monitor the insertion site regularly for any signs of complications.
  • If any issues arise, consult a healthcare professional.


By following these steps, you can effectively fix an IV cannula while ensuring patient safety and accurate delivery of treatments. Remember, proper technique and attention to detail are vital in maintaining the integrity of IV therapy. Always consult your healthcare facility’s protocols and seek guidance from experienced practitioners when needed.

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