Insertion of IV Cannula Procedure: A Step-by-Step Guide

When it comes to administering intravenous (IV) therapy, the insertion of an IV cannula is a critical procedure. The proper technique of inserting an IV cannula ensures the successful delivery of fluids and medications into a patient’s bloodstream.


Before starting the procedure, gather all the necessary supplies, including sterile gloves, an IV cannula, IV solution, alcohol swabs, an adhesive bandage, and a tourniquet. Ensure the patient’s consent and explain the procedure to them.

Step 1: Hand Hygiene

Perform hand hygiene using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

Step 2: Select the Site

Select an appropriate site for cannulation. Common sites include the back of the hand, forearm, or antecubital fossa. Ensure the chosen site is free from any skin lesions or infection.

Step 3: Tourniquet Application

Apply a tourniquet proximal to the site to distend the veins. This will make the veins more visible and accessible.

Step 4: Prepare the Site

Cleanse the selected site with an alcohol swab using a circular motion working from the center outward. Allow it to air dry.

Step 5: Insert the Cannula

Stabilize the patient’s limb and anchor the chosen vein by pulling the skin taut below the site. Hold the cannula bevel-up and insert it at a 15-30 degree angle with a smooth, swift motion.

Step 6: Confirm Placement

As soon as blood enters the flash chamber of the cannula, release the tourniquet and advance the cannula further into the vein. Slowly withdraw the needle while ensuring the cannula remains in place.

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