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Turena Reeves
criteria for judging veins
I have a very old criteria grid used to evaluate vein conditions prior to cannulation. The grid graded the veins on a scale of 0 (best) to 5(worst), Vein size was compared to IV catheter gauge ie. 14g = large vein, 16-18g = med vein etc, . The grid also evaluated vein palpability with/without a tourniquet and vein condition ranging from soft and resilient, mod. hardening, corded, sclerosed etc. Does anyone remember this " criteria for judging veins" the author, which journal and edition the article first appeared.
No, sorry but don't think I

No, sorry but don't think I have ever seen a grid like this. I would bet money that it was created by anesthesia because it states that a 16-18 g for a medium size vein. My opinion is that a medium size vein would be for a 20 g only and a large vein for an 18 gauge. 16 g would be reserved only for serious trauma patients in the ER and/or OR and would be replaced as soon as the need for large volumes was over. Diameters of peripheral veins in the hand and lower forearm ranges from 2 to 5 mm in most people. The basic principle is the smallest gauge catheter in the largest vein possible. 

Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.

126 Main Street, PO Box 10

Milner, GA 30257


Office Phone 770-358-7861

Robbin George
Whenever there are
Whenever there are discussions of vein vs catheter size different measurement scales are utililized--I'm sure I am not the only one confused--When you speak of vein size one speaks in mm but catheter measurements are given in gauge or FR--How are the two scales corrolated? And is there a printed document one could reference?--Thanks in advance for your responses 

Robbin George RN VA-BC

Chris Cavanaugh
3FR=1mm, 4FR=1.34mm,

3FR=1mm, 4FR=1.34mm, 5FR=1.67mm, 6FR=2mm

If your ultrasound machine measures veins in cm, divide by 10 to compare to the size of your catheter...

Chris Cavanaugh, RN, BSN, CRNI, VA-BC

Gwen Irwin
This is a very interesting

This is a very interesting topic.  I don't remember any grid like you mentioned.

I would question the vein size and the catheter size AND allowing blood flow around the IV catheter versus vein palpability.  This concept has not always been a consideration. but we have more info on the complication of a larger catheter in a small vein now.

Gwen Irwin

Austin, Texas

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