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Quantitative study—other
Application of heat prior to intravenous catheter insertion to improve comfort and safety for patients requires further research
  1. Melissa Robinson-Reilly
  1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Melissa Robinson-Reilly, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, New South Wales 2308, Australia; melissa.robinson-reilly{at}

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Commentary on: OpenUrl

Implications for practice and research

  • Improving comfort and safety for patients by simply applying heat prior to cannulation warrants practice consideration.

  • The application of heat prior to cannulation/catheterisation is not a new technique, though this research has provided evidence to promote change and review of current practices.


Intravenous (IV) catheter insertion is performed on ∼80% of patients who present to hospital and is the commonest route of administering chemotherapy. Improving the experience for patients through the application of heat to the arm prior to catheterisation normally increases the visibility of the vein due to venous distension. In this Turkish study by Bayam and Caliskan, using application of heat prior to IV insertion was examined to …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.