I.V. ROUNDS: Tips for inserting an I.V. in an older patient
Nancy L. Moureau RN, CRNI, BSN

July 2004 
Volume 34  Number 7
Pages 18 - 18
  PDF Version Available!


  • Multiple challenges

  • Prepare for success



  • Figure. With aging, ...

    ESTABLISHING AND maintaining venous access in an older adult is challenging. In this article, I'll review some common problems and describe techniques that increase the chance for success.

    Multiple challenges

    With aging, the skin loses tone and elasticity and becomes more fragile and prone to bruising. Loss of subcutaneous tissue makes veins less stable, so they're more apt to wiggle and roll under the skin as you try to insert an I.V. device. All these changes make vein tears, “blown” veins, and bruising more likely.

    An older patient is also likely to have multiple medical problems and a weakened immune system, putting her at greater risk for infection. Maintain meticulous aseptic technique during I.V. insertion and throughout therapy to avoid introducing ...

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