G_CS_18 Cannulation - A Guide to Practice

Healthcare Workers are increasingly performing cannulation. This Training Programme aims to develop their knowledge and skills in the theory and practice of peripheral intravenous cannulation.

Veins consist of three layers:-

  • The Tunica Intima
  • The Tunica Media
  • The Tunica Adventitia

The following anatomical facts are important considerations when undertaking peripheral intravenous cannulation:

  • Arteries are found at a much deeper level than veins, however, in some cases they can cross close by. e.g. the median cephalic vein crosses the brachial artery.
  • Great care must be taken during peripheral intravenous cannulation or venepuncture not to pierce an artery.
  • Veins have thinner walls than arteries and no pulse.
  • The veins most favoured for peripheral cannulation are the cephalic and basilic. This is because they have wider lumens, therefore are easily palpable and are quite superficial, located just beneath the skin. They are also supported by muscular and connective tissue, which helps to stabilise the cannula.

Other veins of choice are:-

  • median cephalic
  • median basilic
  • median vein
  • metacarpal veins

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