How to Use an IV Cannula: Step-by-Step Guide


IV (intravenous) cannula is a medical device widely used in healthcare settings for administering fluids, medications, or blood products directly into a patient’s bloodstream. This blog post will provide you with a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to use an IV cannula effectively and safely.

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Supplies

Before starting the procedure, ensure you have all the essential supplies readily available:

  • IV cannula
  • Alcohol swab
  • Gloves
  • Tourniquet
  • Tape
  • Sterile dressing
  • Adhesive bandage
  • Container for used equipment

Step 2: Prepare the Patient and the Equipment

Ensure the patient is in a comfortable position and explain the procedure to them.

Next, don gloves and clean your hands thoroughly using soap and water or hand sanitizer.

Step 3: Choose the Appropriate Site

Select an appropriate site for insertion, usually the patient’s forearm or back of the hand. Avoid areas with abnormalities, infection, or hematoma.

Step 4: Apply a Tourniquet

To make the veins more visible, apply a tourniquet proximal to the insertion site. Ensure it is tight enough to restrict venous flow but not too tight to obstruct arterial flow.

Step 5: Prepare the Site

Cleanse the selected site with an alcohol swab, starting from the center and moving outward in a circular motion. Allow it to air dry completely.

Step 6: Insert the IV Cannula

Hold the IV cannula between your thumb and index finger with the bevel-up. Insert the needle at a 30-degree angle to the skin, just below the selected vein. When you observe a flashback of blood in the flashback chamber, advance the device further into the vein and remove the tourniquet.

Step 7: Remove the Needle

Keep the catheter in position and remove the needle gently at the same angle it was inserted. Apply pressure to the insertion site with a sterile cotton ball or gauze to stop any bleeding.

Step 8: Secure the IV Cannula

Using tape, secure the IV cannula in place to prevent accidental dislodgement. Ensure the tape is not too tight and allows for proper inspection and mobility.

Step 9: Connect the IV Tubing

Attach the appropriate IV tubing to the hub of the IV cannula. Ensure a secure connection and make sure all clamps are closed before opening the roller clamp.

Step 10: Complete the Procedure

Label the IV line and record the insertion time on the patient’s chart. Dispose of all used materials, and ensure the patient is comfortable and informed of the procedure’s completion.


Using an IV cannula is a common medical procedure that requires utmost care and adherence to a defined process. By following this step-by-step guide, healthcare professionals can ensure safe and effective use of an IV cannula for intravenous therapy.

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