2021 Aug 15. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–.
Peripheral line placement, also referred to as peripheral intravenous (IV) cannulation, is the insertion of an indwelling single-lumen plastic conduit across the skin into a peripheral vein. Such devices may be referred to as peripheral IV (or venous) lines, cannulas, or catheters depending on the country.
They allow fluids, medications and other therapies such as blood products to be introduced directly into the cardiovascular system, bypassing other barriers to absorption and reaching most target organs very quickly. Once inserted, a well-functioning line can remain in use for several days if required, obviating the need for repeated needle insertion into the patient should ongoing treatment be needed. Placement of peripheral lines is the most commonly performed invasive procedure in acute healthcare settings with as many as 80% of hospital inpatients requiring intravenous access at some stage during their admission, and worldwide more than 1 billion lines are used annually.
This article focuses on anatomical landmark-guided techniques for peripheral line placement. Lines may also be placed using real-time ultrasound guidance, which is particularly beneficial for those with suspected difficult access or multiple failed attempts at cannulation.