How to Insert an Intravenous Catheter

by Lilo11 on April 3, 2017 - 12:21am

How to Insert an Intravenous Line

In the healthcare world there are a lot of techniques and tools that are used several times,  everyday. One of them is the intravenous catheter. It is one of the most important tools because it allows the healthcare professionals to have an easy and fast access to the patient’s blood flow. They can administrate fluids, medication and blood easily. There are three main aspects in this process: the materials, the preparation and the technique itself.


First, it is really important to gather all the necessary materials:


-different sizes of catheters

-a tourniquet

-some dressings


-alcohol wipes

-medical tape

-a sharp’s or biohazard container

And if needed a bag of intravenous fluids.

Second, the care provider must explain to the patient the procedure he or she is about to do and reassure the patient. It is an important step because anxiety makes the procedure more difficult for the healthcare provider since it makes the patient’s veins go smaller. The next step is to select a suitable vein, apply the tourniquet, it is a device that helps the veins swell up and makes them easier to find. Once the vein is selected, it is time to choose the catheter size. For example: if the vein is small or on the hand, it is better to select a smaller catheter because it might damage the vein. Next, disinfect the selected site with an alcohol wipe for about thirty seconds and let it dry.Replace the tourniquet, but do not put it too tight and insert the catheter that is on a needle, into the skin. When blood appears remove the tourniquet and push the plastic top part of the catheter, the cannuela, until you reach the skin. Then place a small gauze underneath your needle. Apply pressure with three fingers at the end of the cannulae before pulling the needle out. Keeping the pressure to avoid bleeding, connect it to the fluids bag tube. Secure the intravenous line with some medical tape and open the fluid line to see if it is working. If it is, put a dressing over it and write the date it has been installed, on it. Last step is to dispose of the needle in the container to avoid any injury and put the rest in the trash. Be careful not to forget to remove the tourniquet once there is blood because it can burst the vein and everything will have to be redone. Pay attention because there are a few medical complications linked with the intravenous lines that can be very serious.


Finally, it is important to be cautions by wearing gloves and correctly disinfecting the site before you insert the catheter, to protect the patient and the healthcare provider.Do not forget to reassure the person and to have everything you need near you. Remember to check if the device is working before leaving the patient’s side to avoid complications. The patient’s are treated to go home healthier not to be even more sick.

About the author

Liliana was raised in Jonquière, but she was born in El Salvador. Taking care of other's has always been something important for her.She loves meeting new people and talking to them. The fact that she speaks three different languages relly helps her to meet new people.