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Intravenous cannula (iv cannula)

  • an intravenous cannula is a small plastic tube which is inserted into a vein, usually in the back of your hand, the forearm or at the elbowiv-cannula
  • a tourniquet is applied to you arm and the skin cleaned with an alcohol wipe
  • a plastic tube with a needle is inserted (usually into a vein on your hand)
  • keep your hands warm before the insertion, it increases the size of your veins and makes the insertion much easier
  • the needle in the plastic tube is then removed and disposed
  • the plastic tube is fixed with a dressing to keep it in place
  • the plastic tube stays in the vein and is attached to a giving set with a fluid bag
  • it is required for every anaesthetic
  • it is used for the administration of fluids and medication (single injection or infusion)
  • for infusions a pump may also be attached
  • it may be removed after your operation, it will be removed before you are going home
  • if required for longer it should be exchanged every 3 days to avoid an infection

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