A peripheral intravenous catheter is often inserted as part of care during labour. The catheter is inserted into the back of the hand or lower forearm vein in usual practice. There is no trial data to guide the care provider on which is the better insertion site in any clinical setting. 307 women admitted to the labour ward who required insertion of intravenous catheter were randomised to back of hand or lower forearm vein catheter insertion. Catheter insertion is by junior to mid-grade providers. We evaluated insertion success at the first attempt, pain during insertion and catheter replacement due to malfunction as main outcomes. After catheter removal, we recorded patient satisfaction with site, future site preference and insertion site swelling, bruising, tenderness, vein thrombosis and pain. Insertion of a catheter into back of hand vein is more likely to be successful at the first attempt. Insertion pain score, catheter replacement rate, patient satisfaction, patient fidelity to site in a future insertion and insertion site complications rate are not different between trial arms. In conclusion, both insertion sites are suitable; the back of the hand vein maybe easier to cannulate and seems to be preferred by our frontline providers.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.