Venepuncture and cannulation: Special considerations for infants and children New


Venepuncture and intravenous cannulation are necessary procedures for many infants, however they can be painful and the level of skill of the clinician can assist in minimising the distress.

Special considerations are required when taking blood or inserting an IV cannula in an infant or child in regards to the site and equipment selection, and ongoing management.

This module discusses the special considerations for this population group including:

  • Preparing the patient
  • Choosing the right procedure and site
  • Selecting the appropriate equipment
  • Finding a vein
  • Selecting the optimal vein for intravenous cannulation in children
  • Securing the device

This module is one of a series of 5 on venepuncture and cannulation. The 5 modules are:

  • Indications and vein selection
  • Equipment selectione
  • Special considerations for infants and children
  • Finding a vein
  • Venepuncture – A step-by-step procedural guiden
  • Cannulation – A step-by-step procedural guide

Caution: All clinicians who perform venepuncture or insert IV cannulas in infants or children must ensure that they maintain their accreditation to do so according to their local policies and protocols. These procedures require regular training and maintenance of competency standards and should not be attempted in the absence of the appropriate authority to do so.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • List the special considerations that are required prior to venepuncture and cannulation in children and infants.
  • Identify different methods for preparing young patients to undergo venepuncture and cannulation.
  • Outline the different procedures that may be used to collect blood from children and infants.
  • Identify the common sites for intravenous cannulation in children and infants.
  • Describe advanced techniques for finding an appropriate vein in children and infants.
  • Highlight the equipment required for venepuncture and cannulation in children and infants.
  • Outline methods of securing peripheral intravenous cannulas in children.


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