IV Cannulation Procedure Steps


IV Cannulation is a common medical procedure that involves inserting a small, flexible tube called a cannula into a patient’s vein to administer fluids or medications. This blog post will guide you through the steps of performing an IV cannulation procedure.

Step 1: Preparation

Before starting the IV cannulation procedure, ensure you have gathered all the necessary equipment, including gloves, a tourniquet, antiseptic solution, sterile gauze, cannula, transparent dressing, and a waste disposal bag. Wash your hands and put on gloves.

Step 2: Patient Assessment

Assess the patient’s medical history, allergies, and overall health condition. Determine the appropriate vein for cannulation and ensure the patient is in a comfortable position. Explain the procedure to the patient and obtain their consent.

Step 3: Vein Selection

Apply a tourniquet proximal to the site of cannulation to distend the veins and make them easier to locate. Choose the appropriate vein based on its size, visibility, and proximity to the skin surface. Common veins for cannulation include the median cubital vein, cephalic vein, and basilic vein.

Step 4: Vein Preparation

Clean the selected area with an antiseptic solution to reduce the risk of infection. Allow the antiseptic to dry before proceeding. Palpate the vein to assess its suitability for cannulation. Avoid veins that feel hard, fragile, or have any signs of phlebitis.

Step 5: Cannulation Procedure

Hold the cannula with the bevel facing upward and at a shallow angle to the skin. Insert the cannula into the vein using a smooth, gentle motion. Once blood starts to flow into the flashback chamber, advance the cannula slightly further and reduce the angle of insertion.

Step 6: Securing and Flushing

Secure the cannula in place using sterile adhesive dressing or transparent dressing. Connect a sterile, pre-filled saline flush syringe to the cannula hub. Flush the cannula gently to ensure proper placement and to check for any signs of infiltration or phlebitis.

Step 7: Documentation and Aftercare

Document the procedure, including the date, time, vein used, size of cannula, and any complications encountered. Explain the aftercare instructions to the patient, such as keeping the site clean and dry, avoiding unnecessary movement, and reporting any signs of infection promptly.


In conclusion, performing IV cannulation requires proper preparation, patient assessment, vein selection, and adherence to sterile techniques. By following these steps, healthcare professionals can minimize the risk of complications and ensure a successful IV cannulation procedure.

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