Most children admitted to hospital require intravenous cannulation. This is a procedure which can be difficult in children and often takes multiple attempts. Up to 30% of children are known to have difficult intravenous access for many reasons including frequent cannula requirements or because of being overweight. Obesity in children is increasing. Making multiple attempts at cannulation is distressing for patients and those caring for them. Difficulty in cannulation also results in delays initiating treatment, sub-optimal routes of drug administration, and higher rates of extravasation injuries. It can also be labour intensive, at times requiring help from consultant or anaesthetic colleagues.

Acquiring this ultrasound machine has enabled our paediatric service to initiate ultrasound guided peripheral vascular access in children. Doing so has meant the team now provides an enhanced, high-quality service to its patients by reducing pain and distress from multiple cannulation attempts and providing cannulas which last longer.

Paediatric Registrar, Liza Hallinan said:

“Since acquiring the ultrasound machine it has been in regular use on the ward and we have seen multiple patients benefit already. The recent feedback from one parent says it all:

 “We had a very difficult day with a hormone screen. The first two cannulas and blood tests were done without ultrasound but the machine came out when it was too difficult to access my daughter’s veins. The machine made the world of difference and I am hoping has saved my daughter from a lifelong phobia of needles. A great acquisition for the hospital, thank you.”