Putting an IV cannula the difficult way
Putting an IV cannula to take blood, give medicine or IV fluid is not easy in small children. I always call my pediatric registrar or anesthetists, who do a great job in finding a vein in these kids. They are expert in this procedure.
How to do it?
The drip will allow your child to be given fluid or medicines directly into a vein quickly and for up to several days. A drip is also sometimes known as a cannula, intravenous cannula, or IV line. It is a short, small plastic tube that is put into your child’s vein using a needle. The plastic tube is then left in so that fluids and medicines can be given directly into the blood via the vein. It can also sometimes be used to take blood samples as well.
The doctor or nurse may put a local anesthetic patch like Emla cream on the skin first to numb the area where the needle is to be put. It takes about half an hour for the patch to work. If the drip needs to be inserted urgently there may not be time to wait for the local anesthetic to work.
A tourniquet (elastic belt) is put around your child’s arm or leg. Your child will need to be held still while a small needle is put into a vein. Once the needle is in the vein, the ‘steel’ part of the needle is removed and a plastic tube is left in the vein. The plastic tube will be held in place with tape and bandages and a padded board placed to keep the closest joint still. If possible, blood tests will be taken from the needle at the time of putting it in. Long tubing or syringes can then be attached to the drip and fluids and medicines can be given.
If you cannot stay with your child then a staff member will hold your child instead. Remain calm and comfort your child, if you get upset so will your child.
The Proper way to put an IV line: