Brachial veins

When assessing patients with difficult peripheral venous access it is often helpful to look in the medial upper arm. Here, the brachial artery (A) and veins (V) are predictably located between the biceps and brachialis muscles. The median nerve (N) resides there as well.

NAV-labelsHere’s a plate from Grey’s Anatomy for some perspective:

image413

So how can you tell which is which? Apply pressure slowly and watch for movement.

  1. The veins will collapse
  2. The artery will pulsate
  3. The nerve will do nothing

Brachial vv art median nerve