How to Insert IV Cannula

How to Insert IV Cannula

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Intravenous Devices  

IV cannulas

  • Steel needles or butterfly sets
    • The set is a wing-tip needle with a metal cannula, plastic or rubber wings, and a plastic catheter or hub.
    • The needle is 0.5 to 1.5 inches in length, with needle gauge sizes from 16 to 26.
    • Infiltration is more common with these devices.
    • The butterfly infusion set commonly is used in children and older clients, whose veins are likely to be small or fragile.

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Watch Tips on how to Insert IV Cannula.

Plastic cannulas

  • Plastic cannulas may be an over-the-needle device or an in-needle catheter and are used primarily for short-term therapy.
  • The over-the-needle device is preferred for rapid infusion and is more comfortable for the client.
  • The in-needle catheter can cause catheter embolism if the tip of the cannula breaks.
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IV gauges

  • The gauge refers to the diameter of the lumen of the needle or cannula.
  • The smaller the gauge number, the larger the diameter of the lumen; the larger the gauge number, the smaller the diameter of the lumen.
  • The size of the gauge used depends on the solution to be administered and the diameter of the available vein.
  • Large-diameter lumens (smaller gauge numbers) allow a higher fluid rate than smaller diameter lumens and allow the administration of higher concentrations of solutions.
  • For rapid emergency fluid administration, blood products, or anesthetics, large-diameter lumen needles or cannulas are used, such as a 14-, 16-, 18-, or 19-gauge.
  • For peripheral fat infusions (lipids), a 20- or
  • 21-gauge lumen or cannula is used.
  • For standard IV fluid and clear liquid IV medications, a 22- or 24-gauge lumen or cannula is used.
  • If the client has very small veins, a 24- to 25- gauge lumen or cannula is used.