This offers information for anyone who is looking after their child’s cannula at home.
What is a cannula?
A cannula is a thin, plastic straw which sits inside a child’s vein. The hospital team use it to give your child medicines into their vein.
The cannula is taped down and bandaged before your child goes home.
Why does my child need a cannula when they go home?
Your child may need to keep the cannula in place because they need medicines via their cannula for a day or more after they leave hospital.
The hospital team will have decided this is the best way for your child to receive the medicines to make them better.
This means your child can go home, but they will need to do one of the following:
- come to Kingston Hospital Dolphin ward for their medicines
- let the community team come to their home to give medicines via the cannula.
How do I look after my child’s cannula?
Do the following to look after your child’s cannula.
- Keep the cannula clean and dry. Do not let it get wet in the bath or shower.
- Keep the bandage in place. Ask your hospital team for some spare bandages to take home in case you need them.
- Avoid knocking the cannula or playing with it because this can cause it to move. If it moves it might not work properly.
- Make sure the skin around the cannula does not start to become hot, red, swollen or painful. This can be a sign of infection.
Call Dolphin ward if you are worried about infection or if the cannula area leaks (see Contacts section below).
What do I do if my child’s cannula falls out?
Do the following if the cannula falls out.
- Raise the limb to stop any bleeding
- Apply pressure with a clean tissue or gauze for 5 minutes.
- Put a plaster on the site of the cannula.
- Get in touch with Dolphin ward to let them know (see Contacts section below).
What happens when my child does not need the cannula?
You will have regular reviews with your hospital team while your child is using a cannula.
They will check on how your child is feeling and discuss any test results with you.
When they decide that your child does not need a cannula, they will remove it. This is a quick, painless procedure and your child will be given a small plaster to cover the cannula site.
Sometimes a child will will need to keep taking medication at home for a few days. They can do this by using a syringe or medicine spoon to take medication by mouth.
How to look after your child's cannula at home - Kingston Hospital
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