Demonstration video thanks to Geeky Medics

  • Gloves
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Tourniquet
  • Appropriate size cannula 
  • Alcohol swab
  • Gauze
  • Syringe 
  • 0.9% sodium chloride vial
  • Vacutainer/additional syringe if taking bloods too
  • Cannula port/bung/octapus
  • Cannula dressing
  • Stickers to label cannula 
  • Access to sharps bin
  1. Introductions, handwashing, consent, check patient identifiers
  2. Apply tourniquet
  3. Identify suitable vein (as straight as possible & bounces when you palpate)
  4. Clean with alcohol swab and let dry
  5. Insert needle of cannula until flash seen, carefully insert a 1 mm further (be patient)
  6. Advance the cannula over the needle, ensure you anchor the vein while you do this 
  7. Once fully advanced, apply pressure to the vein proximally to the  cannula and remove the needle
  8. If bloods are required attach syringe or vacutainer
  9. Attach the bung/octopus port
  10. Clean any blood from around the area
  11. Flush the cannula with 0.9% sodium chloride. This should be painless and cause no swelling, otherwise it suggests the cannula has "tissued" (which means it is now in the tissue rather than the vein)
  12. Fix the cannula using the dressings 
  13. Label the cannula with the date
  14. Document the cannula size and area inserted i.e. Left ACF
  • Always question whether a cannula is necessary before placing one. 
  • Larger cannulas are better for giving a lot of fluids quickly. Contrast is usually given by at least a pink cannula
  • Tapping the vein, gravity, submerging the hand in lukewarm water can all help improve your success rate
  • Try to go distally to allow more attempts to be had at the same vein proximally if unsuccessful
By Zana Martin FY2