Peripheral Vein Troubleshooting

What do I do if I cannot find a vein?

They might be too small.

What should I do?

Soak the arm in warm water for five minutes to make the veins get bigger.

Or, wrap a warm towel around the arm before starting.

Or, gently massage the area over the site. Do not slap the skin.

Or, hang the arm down and slowly open and close the fist

What happens if I touch the end of the needle?

Touching the end of the nedle makes it dirty which can allow the spread of germs.

What should I do?

Disconnect the butterfly needle from the syringe and put it in the sharps container. Reapply a new butterfly.

What happens if there is pain and swelling where I insert the needle and I can't infuse the treatment?

The needle was inserted at an angle of less than 20 degrees. This causes the bevel to scrape the outer surface of the vein instead of puncturing it.

What should I do?

Stop the infusion! Remove the butterfly needle and apply pressure. Attempt to access a new vein with a new needle.

What happens if there is a flash of blood in the tubing, and then nothing but air?

The needle was inserted at an angle of greater than 30 degrees. It punctures through both sides of the vein.

What should I do?

Remove the butterfly needle. Apply pressure. Attempt to access a new vein with a new needle.

What do I do if I have tried three times and I still can't access a vein?

You may have the right angle, but not have held the vein in place so it rolls to one side.

What should I do?

Go to the nearest emergency or treatment center for assistance and take the unused labeled product with you.

Why do: My hands/lips feel tingly? Or, I feel light-headed? Or, I feel burning where the needle is?

You are infusing too fast.

What should I do?

Slow down!

 What happens if the person helping me is pricked with a used needle?

What should I do?

Wash the wound with soap and water and have them call the doctor. The doctor may want them to take medicine that will prevent the spread of infection.