ESTABLISHING A SALINE LOCK
The procedures for performing a venipuncture and establishing a saline lock are
given in the following paragraphs.
a. Obtain Needed Supplies. You will need the following from your combat
lifesaver aid bag.
18 gauge IV catheter/needle unit.
Saline lock adapter plug.
Alcohol or povidone-iodine pad.
21 gauge 1 1/4" needle (for flushing, if needed).
5 milliliter syringe (for flushing, if needed).
Hextend IV bag (for flushing, if needed).
b. Select the Site. For combat lifesavers, the preferred sites for IV/saline lock
initiation are the peripheral veins of the antecubital fossa (the area anterior to and just
below the elbow, see figure 6-1, left figure) because they are among the largest, most
visible, and accessible veins in the arm. Other sites that may be used are on the back
of his hand (see figure 6-1, right figure). If a casualty's arm is injured, select a site on
the uninjured arm. If both arms are uninjured, select a site on the casualty's
(1) Expose possible infusion sites by removing, tearing, or cutting away
clothing if necessary.
(2) Look and feel (palpate) for a vein. If possible, select a vein that can be
felt and seen. Make sure the vein is large enough to accommodate the catheter/needle
that will be used. Make sure the site is free of scars, moles, and excessive hair.
Avoid joints, areas where a pulse is palpable, and veins near or below
Select a straight vein that feels springy when touched and does not roll.