Clinical Skills: IV Fluids

  • Wash hands
  • Introduce self
  • Check patient name and date of birth with patient themselves, their wrist name tag, their notes and their prescription chart
  • Ask permission to give IV drug and ask them about allergies, and offer to explain procedure to patient

First check:
  • Check patient has cannula in situ
  • Reposition the arm to adequately expose the cannula
    • Is the cannula in date? (ideally less than 3 days, maximum 5 days if no signs of complications)
    • Is the port site clean and the skin non-erythematous and not swollen?
  • Check the prescription:
    • Which fluid to be given
    • Duration to give it over
    • Any additional drugs to put in fluid bag
    • That the fluid hasn't already been given
    • That the prescription has been signed

Collect your equipment:
  • Clean an equipment tray with alcohol wipe (inside first, then outside), then add:
    • Gloves
    • Alcohol swabs
    • Giving set
    • Fluid prescribed
      • Check expiry date and type of fluid with a member of staff
      • Check the bag looks as though it has not been damaged and the fluid inside is clear with no residual material within it
  • Don gloves
  • Set up equipment near a sink
    • Ensure the giving set tube is closed before continuing
    • Insert giving set needle into fluid bag (after removing their caps)
    • Fill the giving set chamber to half full
    • Open the giving set tap, run the fluid along the line to the tip of the giving set tube and then close the tap. Ensure no bubbles in the line

Administer the fluids
  • Return to the patient and recheck name with patient, label and drug chart
  • Remove gloves, wash hands and don a new pair of gloves
  • Clean cannula port site with alcohol wipe
  • Insert the giving set tip into the cannula port
  • Squeeze the giving set chamber until it is half-filled with fluid, then set to whatever rate is prescribed. To do this, you must calculate the 'drip rate per minute':
    • Drip rate per minute = amount of fluid (L) / hours it should be given over X 20
    • Count the drops over a minute to make sure that this number is the same as the one you calculated, so you know you are administering the fluid over the correct duration
  • Thank the patient, tidy up your equipment and wash your hands

  • Extras:
    download in pdf

    written by: celine_lakra,
    first posted on: 1/03/12, 17:00


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