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Peripheral IV Catheter Chart

Always select the smallest gauge peripheral catheter that will accommodate the prescribed therapy and patient need. Peripheral catheters larger than 20G are more likely to cause phlebitis. Do not use peripheral veins for continuous infusions of vesicants, parenteral nutrition or infusates with an osmolarity of 900 mOsm/L.1 External catheter diameters, length and water flow rates are variable among each brand of catheter, with the dimensions and flow rates listed below being approximate. Fluid flow rates in actual patient use, are influenced by the type and viscosity of fluid, fluid temperature, height of the container and the use of needleless connectors.2 There are numerous factors that could also affect fluid flow rates, once the catheter is inserted into a patient. 

Download a printable copy of the Guide to Peripheral IV Catheter Chart resource


This resource accompanies our Basics of Peripheral IV Therapy; Current Standards of Practice 2016 continuing education course, which is also part of of many of our IV Certification course packages

 
Peripheral IV Catheter Chart

Color Gauge Size External Diameter (mm)* Length (mm)* Water Flow Rate (mL/min)* Recommended Uses
14G-(1).png
Orange
14G 2.1 mm 45 mm ~240 mL/min Trauma, Rapid blood transfusion, Surgery1
16G-Grey.png
Gray
16G 1.8 mm 45 mm ~180 mL/min Rapid fluid replacement, Trauma, Rapid blood transfusion1
18G.png
Green
18G 1.3 mm 32 mm ~90 mL/min Rapid fluid replacement, Trauma, Rapid blood transfusion1
20G-Grey.png
Pink
20G 1.1 mm 32 mm ~60 mL/min Most infusions, Rapid fluid replacement, Trauma, Routine blood transfusion1
22G.png
Blue
22G 0.9 mm 25 mm ~36 mL/min Most infusions, Neonate, Pediatric, Older adults, Routine blood transfusion1
24G-Grey.png
Yellow
24G 0.7 mm 19 mm ~20 mL/min Most infusions, Neonate, Pediatric, Older adults, Routine blood transfusion, Neonate or Pediatric blood transfusion1
26G.png
Purple
26G 0.6 mm 19 mm ~13 mL/min Pediatrics, Neonate1

References:  Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice Jan/Feb 20161
https://www.bd.com/infusion/products/ivcatheters/iagbc/videos/pdfs/iagbc_wp3.pdf 2
*varies by specific catheter and manufacturer
 
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