"IV Cannulation"

About: Canberra Hospital / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

Last year I was admitted to Canberra Hospital, where I reported acute onset malaise, vomiting, chills, shivering, fever (39.5 degrees), sweats, urinary frequency, elevated heart rate (94 bpm). Emergency inserted a cannula in left elbow fossa. I was put on a re-hydration drip with antibiotic.

Twelve hours after admission (the next morning), more antibiotic was introduced into the IV line. My arm was swollen and painful. On examination, the first cannula had dislodged, so that the fluid was discharged into the tissue.

A new cannula was inserted at the top of my right wrist. I suggested that was not a good place because movement of the hand might tend to block the cannula. This happened for two days, so a nurse had to return frequently to reset the beeper.

On discharge through the home hospital unit, the wrist location for the cannula was acknowledged to be a poor location, so a third cannula was inserted on my left arm further up from the wrist. There were no further problems for many days.

I am very thankful for the resolution of my original health condition. But, I think the cannulation procedures could be significantly improved to save time, money, patient stress, and a more effective delivery of healthcare.

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