Peripheral Intravenous Cannulation Procedure

Peripheral Intravenous Cannulation is a common procedure performed in healthcare settings to establish access to a patient’s veins, allowing for infusion of fluids, medications, and blood products directly into the bloodstream. In this blog post, we will discuss the step-by-step procedure for peripheral intravenous cannulation and key considerations for healthcare professionals performing the procedure.


Peripheral Intravenous (IV) cannulation involves inserting a small plastic tube, known as a cannula, into a peripheral vein, typically in the arm or hand. This allows healthcare providers to administer medications, fluids, and collect blood samples without the need for repeated needle punctures. A successful peripheral IV cannulation requires skill, knowledge, and adherence to strict aseptic technique to minimize the risk of infection and other complications.


Before starting the procedure, it is vital to gather all the necessary equipment. This includes gloves, an antiseptic solution (such as chlorhexidine), a tourniquet, a suitable cannula (typically 20-22 gauge), adhesive dressings, transparent dressing, and extension tubing if required.

Step 1: Explaining the Procedure to the Patient

Prior to beginning the procedure, it is important to obtain informed consent from the patient and explain the process in simple terms. Address any concerns or questions they may have to alleviate anxiety and ensure their cooperation throughout the process.

Step 2: Hand Hygiene and Gloving

Perform thorough hand hygiene by washing hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Don a pair of sterile gloves to maintain aseptic technique during the procedure.

Step 3: Identification of an Appropriate Vein

Assess the patient’s arm and identify a suitable vein for cannulation. The cephalic vein, basilic vein, and median cubital vein are commonly used for peripheral IV access. Choose a vein that is visible, palpable, and without any signs of thrombosis or infiltration.

Step 4: Tourniquet Application

Apply a tourniquet proximal to the intended cannulation site and ask the patient to make a fist. This helps dilate the target vein and make it easier to locate.

Step 5: Skin Preparation

Cleanse the skin over the target insertion site using an antiseptic solution. Start at the center and work outward in a circular motion to minimize the risk of contamination. Allow the solution to dry completely before proceeding.

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