Endometriosis UK
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Pain in hand after Cannula

When I was in hospital recently I had to have a cannula in my hand for my op. On day 3 it was so painful. Every time the nurse came round to change the antibiotic or fluid or even just to flush it through It was so painful I would just cry.

Its been two weeks since I have had it removed and the tiny scab has even gone, but my hand has been hurting. Last week it was red and swollen and I have been putting ice on it which has help. The vein is raised a bit and I can see the yellow bruise coming out. I have felt it to see if there is anything in there but it feels soft, so I don't think anything was left in.

I don't want to go back to the hospital - The thought even scares me! Has anyone else experienced this. My dad has had loads of surgery and says it will go away. But I think such a small thing should not still hurt.

9 Replies

You may have had a little infection in it-meaning it took longer to heal. I can assure you it's impossible for anything to be left in (I'm a nurse). Avoid poking it or rubbing it often (we all do this without thinking when we are worried about it)

If your really worried and it feels hot and swollen or looks very red and angry call your gp or nhs direct.

But otherwise it will go away by itself.


Although nothing has clearly been left in the lady's hand, I have just been discharged from hospital (severe pains in head) A cannula was removed from my hand to to replace with a new one.

I can assure you it is not impossible for anything to be left in the hand. Unfortunately, I had to undergo surgery to remove the plastic part (Venflon?) which somehow spilt and was left in my vein!

I had two small surgery procedures due to infection setting in and a small amount of stitches both times. A very rare occurrence but it does in fact happen.

I'm now awaiting on word from the manufacturer's.


I have had dozens of canulas, and it varies a lot as to the reaction.

There are two types,the stainless steel ones which are very rigid and unforgiving, and the bendy teflon plasticky looking ones which are more bendy and better suited to being placed near joints.

Basically the soreness during is from nerves, and after bruising, the bruises hurt and cause swelling which can take a few weeks to calm down completely if there has been a gusher inside.

You can get lucky and the canula goes in 1st time, right where it is needed and it stays put and when removed there is very little bruising and a speedy recovery.

Other times as you have experienced it can nick the blood vessel and cause bruising and yep it hurts. You can even do that to yourself with a canula in place and accidentally catch it on bedding or clothes or in long hair. OUCH !!! I've had a few mishaps with that happening.

I've had them in the wrist, back of the hand , crook of the elbow and once in an ankle.

You don't need to go to hospital with this.

What you are experiencing is normal.

Stop prodding and poking it, (ice packs will help at 1st,) but after that, pain killers like paracetamol will do and leave it to recover, which it will do in time.

I've had some very sore ones and hardly noticeable ones too.

One paramedic trainee in A&E asked if he could practice on me on one occasion, with a canula in the back of the hand. I was on morphine at the time.

He botched it and it came right through to my palm.

He was profoundly sorry, and a nurse took over and did a 1st class job. I told him not to worry, I understood that is an acquired skill and he certainly did need more practise, but not on me, and teased him a bit about it. I didn't hurt that time it happened because i was drugged up, but it bruised afterwards.

I do get annoyed with them. I can see the benefits for nurses, but as a patient, stuck with the things 24 hours a day in hospital is not fun and especially when they are plugged up an not being used. It's a different matter if they are in use with a drip or for blood letting, but i get annoyed when they leave them in and they are there 'just in case'.

Rest assured Sue, what you are experiencing is normal and it will recover.


p.s I've never had one cause an infection. It would be almost impossible if you have had antibiotics sent through them too.

One option that occured to me is arnica gel which it is claimed can sooth bruising.

I had a tube of arnical gel from the chemists, after my laparotomy as my stomach was all colours of the rainbow.

I am not convinced it helped much at all to be honest, but it may be more effective on a smaller bruise.Don't rub too hard though.Gentle dabbing instead would be better.


Is that those stupid plastic clear things they leave in your skin instead of the needle? Because If it is, every time I have those in the back of my hand (I have difficult veins when dehydrated) I get scars. I have a scar from 2 years ago that I can still see, and 1 from this year i can still see. And those plastic things hurt way more then a traditional needle. :-(


yes that's them !!

i haven't scarred from any of mine, but if you are prone to keyloid scarring then they can leave their calling card as a reminder.



Please go and see your gp!!! You most certainly could have an infection. Because I had one! I experienced the same about 6 weeks ago, I left it a week then went doctors, I had an infection in the blood vessels caused from either a reaction to something that went thru the cannula or the cannula moving so it wasn't in the vein properly causing anything they put thru it to enter the soft tissue around the cannula site. You must get it checked out because if the infection or even a tiny blood clot is in a major vein that travels to your heart then it could get very serious!


1 like

I have had cunnulas fitted so many times, but on this occasion its hurting a few days later and my hand is very painful.


I can see this post is a while back but needed to post a reply. To all the nurses who say that having a cannula fracture and remain in vein is unlikely..please do some research, it absolutely Can happen. It happened to me. And afterwards I started researching what can happen. I came across quite a few who have had this happen as well. Try researching it urself. Sometimes those who are nurses don't know absolutely everything. BTW it was a nurse who left it in my arm and didn't bother letting me know. I found out thru ct scan.

So please do ur own research as well.


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