- Steel needles or butterfly sets
- The set is a wing-tip needle with a metal cannula, plastic or rubber wings, and a plastic catheter or hub.
- The needle is 0.5 to 1.5 inches in length, with needle gauge sizes from 16 to 26.
- Infiltration is more common with these devices.
- The butterfly infusion set commonly is used in children and older clients, whose veins are likely to be small or fragile.
Watch Tips on how to Insert IV Cannula.
- Plastic cannulas may be an over-the-needle device or an in-needle catheter and are used primarily for short-term therapy.
- The over-the-needle device is preferred for rapid infusion and is more comfortable for the client.
- The in-needle catheter can cause catheter embolism if the tip of the cannula breaks.
- The gauge refers to the diameter of the lumen of the needle or cannula.
- The smaller the gauge number, the larger the diameter of the lumen; the larger the gauge number, the smaller the diameter of the lumen.
- The size of the gauge used depends on the solution to be administered and the diameter of the available vein.
- Large-diameter lumens (smaller gauge numbers) allow a higher fluid rate than smaller diameter lumens and allow the administration of higher concentrations of solutions.
- For rapid emergency fluid administration, blood products, or anesthetics, large-diameter lumen needles or cannulas are used, such as a 14-, 16-, 18-, or 19-gauge.
- For peripheral fat infusions (lipids), a 20- or
- 21-gauge lumen or cannula is used.
- For standard IV fluid and clear liquid IV medications, a 22- or 24-gauge lumen or cannula is used.
- If the client has very small veins, a 24- to 25- gauge lumen or cannula is used.