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Cannulation of Small Veins Another Approach
  1. Sukumar P. Desai, MD
  1. From the Department of Anesthesia, Harvard Medical School, and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts


A technique to simplify cannulation of small, poorly visible veins is described. This technique using an Esmarch's bandage appears to facilitate venous cannulation by increasing the caliber of the vessel and the length over which it is visible. Furthermore, the vein is palpated more readily, again, simplifying cannulation. Should cannulation be unsuccessful, however, it would be wise to release the Esmarch's bandage as soon as possible to prevent the formation of a large subcutaneous hematoma.

  • Venous cannulation
  • Esmarch's bandage
  • Complications
  • hematoma

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  • Address reprint requests to Dr. Desai: Associate in Anesthesia, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115.