Intravenous Cannula Insertion: A Step-by-Step Guide


Welcome to our video blog on intravenous cannula insertion. In this detailed guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of how to properly insert an intravenous (IV) cannula, ensuring patient comfort and safety.

Why is it important to learn proper IV cannula insertion technique?

Inserting an IV cannula is a common procedure performed in healthcare settings, and it plays a vital role in patient care. A well-inserted IV cannula allows healthcare professionals to administer fluids, medications, and blood products directly into the patient’s bloodstream. However, improper cannula insertion can cause patient discomfort, infections, and other complications. By mastering this skill, healthcare providers can enhance patient care and minimize potential risks.

Step 1: Gather the necessary supplies

Before beginning the procedure, it is crucial to gather all the necessary supplies:

  • A sterile IV cannula of an appropriate size
  • A compatible IV catheter
  • Gloves, mask, and other personal protective equipment
  • An antiseptic solution
  • Tape and transparent dressing
  • A tourniquet
  • Gauze and adhesive bandages
  • A securement device (optional)

Step 2: Prepare the patient and the environment

Properly preparing the patient and the environment is crucial for a successful insertion:

  • Explain the procedure to the patient, ensuring their consent and cooperation.
  • Select an appropriate site for cannula insertion, considering factors such as patient preference, accessibility, and availability of suitable veins.
  • Cleanse the insertion site thoroughly using an antiseptic solution and allow it to dry.
  • Put on gloves and a mask to maintain a sterile environment.

Step 3: Inserting the IV cannula

Now, let’s walk through the actual process of inserting an IV cannula:

  1. Apply a tourniquet proximal to the intended insertion site to engorge the veins.
  2. Select the appropriate size of the IV cannula, considering the patient’s condition and the planned therapy.
  3. Stabilize the vein by applying gentle traction below the intended insertion site.
  4. With the bevel facing up, insert the cannula at a 15 to 30-degree angle to the skin, using a smooth, swift motion. Be careful not to puncture through the vein.
  5. Once you observe a flashback of blood, advance the cannula slightly further into the vein, then remove the needle from the cannula.
  6. Lower the angle of the cannula and advance it further into the vein until it is fully inserted.
  7. Secure the cannula in place using tape and apply a transparent dressing.
  8. Label the cannula with the date, time, size, and your initials.

Step 4: Post-insertion care and monitoring

After the cannula is inserted, it is important to provide appropriate care and monitor the patient:

  • Stabilize the cannula with a securement device if available, ensuring it is not too tight.
  • Flush the cannula with a compatible solution to ensure patency and prevent occlusion.
  • Cover the insertion site with a gauze pad and an adhesive bandage.
  • Regularly assess the cannula site for signs of infection, infiltration, or phlebitis.


Proper technique and attention to detail are essential when inserting an intravenous cannula. By following this step-by-step guide, healthcare professionals can ensure patient comfort, minimize complications, and optimize the delivery of fluids and medications. Regular training, practice, and staying updated with best practices are key elements in mastering this important skill.

Leave a Comment