Emerg Med J doi:10.1136/emermed-2012-202106
  • Short report

Establishing intravenous access in an emergency situation

  1. Adnan Sheikh2
  1. 1Department of General Surgery, Mersey Deanery, Liverpool, UK
  2. 2Department of General Surgery, Warrington District General Hospital, Warrington, UK
  1. Correspondence to Leonard Marc Quinn, Department of General Surgery, Mersey Deanery, Regatta Place, Brunswick Park, Liverpool L3 4BL, UK; marc.quinn{at}
  • Accepted 5 May 2013
  • Published Online First 15 June 2013


Obtaining emergency intravenous access in a peripherally shut down patient can be challenging even for the most experienced clinician; however, it is paramount for the delivery of life saving drugs and fluids. Ultrasonography has been used for guided peripheral access but has shown no advantage being user-dependant.1 ,2


The authors use a simple technique which involves applying a tourniquet above the elbow and establishing intravenous access in the dorsum of the hand with a blue (22G) venflon. The tourniquet is left on and immediately 100 ml of normal saline is infused by compressing the …

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