Will a replicable ultrasound training intervention improve intravenous cannulation processes?

Grant ID: EMTR-201R26-2016

Lay Summary

Most patients need intravenous access in the emergency department, but many suffer multiple attempts before the health provider is successful. This can cause patient distress and delays the time to potentially life-saving treatments.

We believe an ultrasound-guided cannulation training program will enable better recognition of patients with difficult intravenous access and increase use of ultrasound during cannulation, hence decreasing time to cannulation, increasing success rates, and reducing the number of punctures required

In this study, we are examining the current practice of inserting intravenous (IV) cannulas in the Emergency Department at the Gold Coast University Hospital. We will consider how many people get cannulas, number of attempts required, who inserts them, how successful we are, how often ultrasound is used to guide this insertion, time to successful cannulation, who uses ultrasound and how successful is ultrasound-guided placement.

We will then run a year long intervention program for doctors and nurses to improve knowledge and skills in identifying patients with difficult IV access and to learn ultrasound-guided cannulation.

Following this, the initial observational study will be repeated looking for an improvement in the number of attempts required, the time to achieve successful cannulation, and the overall success of IV cannula insertion.

We expect that our well described and professionally videotaped training module will improve cannulation processes and impact a large number of patients by reducing the number of cannulation attempts.

The study also aims to develop the materials (visual and written) needed such that the USS training program can be replicated at other Australian sites.



Amount Awarded


Grant Scheme


Principal Investigator:
Dr Amy Archer-Jones

Dr Stuart Watkins


CONTACT US +61 7 3720 5700 info@emfoundation.org.au Suite 1B, Terraces, 19 Lang Parade, Milton Qld 4064