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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., NPD-BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.

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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