Peripheral venous catheters (PVC) are devices that are inserted intravenously usually into the veins of the non- dominant forearm and the hand. Veins in the lower extremities should not be used due to increased risk of thrombosis, thrombophlebitis, and increased infection risk. They are used to administer intravenous fluids, drugs, blood products. A peripheral cannula is recommended for short term therapy and are to be re-sited when clinically indicated and not routinely (DOH 2007). Alternative vascular access devices should be considered for longer term therapy.



This policy outlines measures that shall be implemented to reduce the risk of infectious and non-infectious complications in any adult with a PVC. A Peripheral Cannula Insertion Pack must be used when inserting a PVC. The exception being an emergency, or the cannula is sited for a short duration procedure and then promptly removed, e.g. CT Scan with Contrast.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Jessica Akers, Lead Nurse IV Access and Management
Ratified by: Practice Standards and Policies Committee
Date Ratified: December 2023
Date Issued: January 2024
Review Date: December 2026
Target Audience: All trust staff involved in IV care
Contact name: Jessica Akers, Lead Nurse IV Access and Management


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