Precautions relating to inserted cannula

Precautions relating to inserted cannula

Frequent inspection of the sited cannula is recommended to detect signs of extravasation. Please see the section How can extravasation be recognised?

In patients receiving repeated doses of vesicant drugs peripherally, re‑siting of the cannula should be performed at regular intervals.

The catheter should always be rinsed with a saline solution in between administrations

Regular communication with patients is vital so they can report early symptoms or signs of extravasation.

Check for the following signs around the cannula, before and during administration of the drug solution:

  • Oedema and inflammation
  • Blood backflow

When placing the cannula, the following precautions:

  • Cannulas should not be inserted near joints because nerve or tendon damage can occur. Additionally, it is difficult to secure the cannula safely.
  • Avoid inserting the cannula in the antecubital fossa area as it is very difficult to detect extravasation in this area.
  • While insertion of a cannula in the veins on the back of the hand is acceptable, it must be done with extreme care because extravasation in this area can cause severe injury.
  • Once sited, a cannula should not be covered with opaque gauze as this prevents regular inspection.
  • If required, additional securing of the cannula should be fixed during the administration of drugs.

Precautions for a suspected extravasation

  • If the possibility of an extravasation exists, the current line should be discontinued and a new route for administering the drug solution inserted. Follow your hospital’s policy guideline thereafter.
  • Once the needle is removed, apply pressure to the puncture site for about five minutes and elevate the limb.