Asthma UK community forum

IV Access

Does anyone know if there are any other options when it's difficult to get an IV line in? My veins have always been difficult and played a game of hide and seek or else collapsed (not sure what that means?) but this week when they needed to get them in quickly to me, my veins seemed to have emigrated! The doc did eventually find one but it was small and very difficult in my wrist and I basically couldn't move my arm or it stopped working. I was just wondering what happened if they can't find a vein - are there other options or do they just keep jabbing in the hope of eventually your body saying okay, I give up, here's a vein? I don't mind all the holes/bruises from their attempts as I know it was important they got one in, my fear was what would happen if they couldn't get one in?

4 Replies

When I had this trouble with an IV cannula, 4 days ago. They put it in my feet and said they have other places they can use as well if the veins in wraist and arms are shot. I didn't ask where as I was focusing on the foot insertion that worked surprisingly.



I have had IV lines all over the place including feet, ankle (that hurt) by shoulder bone, but recently when I have become very unwell they find it increadingly hard and call the aneasthetists and an ultrasound machine is used to find a deeper vein they use the ultrasound so that there not going in blind. It was fine just left a big bruise - on inner side of elbow, think it is called brachial access. I have had permanent access discussed such as a port, but at the moment not having it done because of MRSA status. I have also had central lines...would not not not recommend them at all.

Try not to worry...I am sure they have some expert vein finders - in my local they have an IV access team who are the best of the best at finding veins and usually include anaesthetists whose job it is to play hide and seek with veins.


i too for years had rubbish access and it did prove quite a traumatic experience trying to find an obliging vein. more for the unlucky sole who was trying to cannulate whilst machinery shouted and i rapidly deteriorated. I too have had cannulars in random places, feet, neck and one rather weirdly by my collar bone. I had several long lines that were inserted using ultrasound by itu bods. I have had many central lines which have been ok but a few have been troublesome. I had a hickman line for a year but I really hated it and dispite being a life saver I did have quite serious mental issues with a tube permenantly hanging out of my right chest!! I had a portacath fitted and dispite alot of ignorance regarding its use it did transform my life. It lasted for ten years i had a replacement four years ago and i am pleased to say that it is in perfect working order and more knowledge of its use at my hosp means it is used all the time. Sadly i do still have to have central lines if proper poorly. chell.x


Try not to worry, my access can sometimes be a problem, but the chaps from the ITU, tend to be quite good, so they usually find somewhere to shove it. Let them do the worrying because the more you stress out about it, those wee veins will sink deeper and deeper.


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