An intravenous catheter is a small tube that is inserted into a vein for the purpose of delivering fluids or medications. "Intravenous" means "in a vein". It is usually referred to as an I.V.

An IV catheter can be inserted into the veins of the arms or legs. This type of IV is called a "Peripheral IV". The term peripheral means "outer boundaries", therefore, a peripheral IV is located in the veins that are "away from the centre".

A "Central Venous Catheter" or Central IV is a catheter that is inserted into large veins that are closer to the right side of the heart.



Image 1: Peripheral IV

Central IV

Image 2: Central IV