Cannulas Intravenous Catheters
Intravenous (IV) cannulation is a technique in which a cannula is placed inside a vein to provide venous access. Venous access allows sampling of blood, as well as administration of fluids, medications, parenteral nutrition, chemotherapy, and blood products
The catheter is introduced into the vein by a needle (similar to blood drawing), which is subsequently removed while the small plastic cannula remains in place. The catheter is then fixed by taping it to the patient's skin or using an adhesive dressing.
A peripheral venous catheter is the most commonly used vascular access in medicine. It is given to most emergency department and surgical patients, and before some radiological imaging techniques using radiocontrast, for example. In the United States, in the 1990s, more than 25 million patients had a peripheral venous line each year.
A peripheral venous catheter is usually placed in a vein on the hand or arm. It should be distinguished from a central venous catheter which is inserted in a central vein (usually in the internal jugular vein of the neck or the subclavian vein of the chest), or an arterial catheter which can be placed in a peripheral or central artery. In children, a topical anaesthetic gel (such as lidocaine) may be applied to the insertion site to facilitate placement.
Blood sampling can be carried out at the time of insertion of a peripheral venous catheter or at a later time.
Peripheral venous catheters may also be used in the emergency treatment of a tension pneumothorax- they can be placed in the second intercostal space along the mid clavicular line in order to relieve tension before definitive management with a chest drain.