Peripheral Veins

  • Stephen Alerhand


Bedside ultrasound (US) is an extremely valuable tool to increase success rates for acquiring difficult intravenous (IV) access [1–3]. Patients for whom the landmark method is technically difficult include: obese or edematous patients, those undergoing dialysis, chemotherapy treatments, frequent IV placement for any other chronic illness, or a history of IV drug use. Safe and effective US-guided IV access has also been shown to decrease the utilization of central venous catheters in non-critical patients [4, 5], while also increasing patient satisfaction in those who are discharged from the emergency department [6]. In pediatric patients as well, use of US may decrease the number of attempts made to attain IV access [7, 8]. This skill can be learned by physicians, nurses [9–11], and technicians [12] alike.


Vein Artery Antecubital fossa Basilic vein Brachial vein 

Supplementary material

Video 24.1

Ultrasound video of antecubital fossa veins being compressed. Notice how the veins fully collapse upon application of pressure. This helps differentiate between vein and artery when attempting to obtain IV access. Video courtesy of Stephen Alerhand (MOV 6504 kb)

Video 24.2

Ultrasound video of medial upper arm veins being compressed. Notice how the veins fully collapse upon application of pressure. This helps differentiate between vein and artery when attempting to obtain IV access. Video courtesy of Stephen Alerhand (MOV 6892 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Alerhand
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Emergency MedicineIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA

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