"Blowing" a vein can occur from several things...
1. Using too large of an IV catheter. INS standards say that one should always use the smallest gauge and length IV catheter possible for the prescribed therapy.
2. Your angle of insertion is importnat as well. The elderly population have had many age related changes with their skin and blood vessels. Because their vessels are more superficial (secondary to loss of SQ tissue) you may need to insert your device at a very shallow 5-10 degree angle.
3. In addition, once you've gained successful enry into your vessel and you've advanced your catheter's hub to insertion, release your tourniquet.
You also should pay attention to how tight your tourniquet is on the pt.
Elderly pt's usually require light tourniquet application to keep from blowing the vein.
Hope this helps...
Quote from jsinr
Forgive me for asking such a basic question, but I am a new nurse and cannot find an answer anywhere. Seriously I have checked all my textbooks and online for an answer.
What exactly does it mean to "blow a vein"? What exactly is going on with the vessel? How whould I know that I blew a vein? What are the complications of a blown vein? How can I prevent blowing a vein when performing veinapuncture?