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Venepuncture and cannulation: Special considerations for children and neonates

CPD Hours



All Modules
Clinical practice and procedures
Midwifery and child health
Neonates and paediatrics


Venepuncture and intravenous cannulation are necessary procedures for many infants, however they can be painful and the level of skill of the clinician can assist in minimising the distress. Special considerations are required when taking blood or inserting an IV cannula in a paediatric or neonatal patient in regards to the site and equipment selection, and ongoing management.

This module discusses the special considerations for this population group including:

  • Preparing the patient
  • Choosing the right procedure and site
  • Selecting the appropriate equipment
  • Finding a vein
  • Selecting the optimal vein for intravenous cannulation in children
  • Securing the device

This module is one of a series of 5 on venepuncture and cannulation. The 5 modules are:

  1. Indications and vein selection
  2. Equipment selection
  3. Special considerations for paediatrics and neonates
  4. Venepuncture - A step-by-step procedural guide
  5. Cannulation - A step-by-step procedural guide


All nurses and midwives who are perform venepuncture or insert IV cannulas in paediatric or neonatal patients must ensure that they maintain their accreditation to do so according to their local policies and protocols. These procedures require regular training and maintenance of competency standards and should not be attempted in the absence of the appropriate authority to do so.

Learning Objective

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • List the special considerations that are required prior to venepuncture and cannulation in children and neonates.
  • Identify different methods for preparing young patients to undergo venepuncture and cannulation.
  • Outline the different procedures that may be used to collect blood from children and neonates.
  • Identify the common sites for intravenous cannulation in children and neonates.
  • Describe advanced techniques for finding an appropriate vein in children and neonates.
  • Highlight the equipment required for venepuncture and cannulation in children and neonates.
  • Outline methods of securing peripheral intravenous cannulas in children.

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