Glossary Entry: Angiocatheter


Definition: An angiocatheter is a thin, hollow plastic tube used to access blood vessels for various medical procedures. It allows for the introduction of fluids, medications, or the withdrawal of blood.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: Angiocatheters come in various sizes and are denoted by their gauge, with smaller gauges indicating a larger diameter. They also vary in length and may have different needle tip designs.


Common Uses: Angiocatheters are commonly used for intravenous (IV) access, blood sampling, and administration of medications or fluids in hospital and clinical settings.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: The angiocatheter is inserted into the blood vessel using a needle and then the needle is removed, leaving the catheter in place. Proper technique and sterile insertion procedures are vital to minimize the risk of infection and complications.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Potential complications associated with angiocatheter use include infection, bleeding, and infiltration of the vessel, which can lead to tissue damage.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: Angiocatheters must be properly secured, monitored for signs of infection, and changed regularly to reduce the risk of complications.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: Other devices commonly used in conjunction with angiocatheters include IV bags, infusion pumps, and catheter securement devices.

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: Recent advancements in angiocatheter technology have focused on improving catheter material, needle design, and infection control measures.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: Medical professionals must adhere to strict guidelines for the use and disposal of angiocatheters to ensure patient safety and prevent the spread of infections.