Here is a quick tip for preventing your IV bags from running through.
You know, when you take your eyes off of that infusion for 5 minutes, it empties, and then air runs down past the drip chamber and all the way down to the pump (or the patient).
This method can be used on ‘gravity fed’ infusions or when running infusions via a pump.
Unfortunately you can only use this tip when setting up fluids with a new IV giving set (IV tubing) and the first bag of fluids being hung.
NEVER try to pierce an IV fluid bag and then expel the air before connecting it to an existing infusion (eg when hanging subsequent bags on an existing infusion).
This is the way to do it:
- Close the roller clamp on the IV tubing.
- Spike the new fluid bag as normal.
- Now invert the fluid bag so the IV tubing is on top, and the drip chamber is sticking up in the air.
- Open the roller clamp.
- Gently squeeze the IV bag until fluid comes up into the drip chamber. This expels all the air in the bag. Squeeze until the drip chamber fills to the half-way mark.
- Turn the IV bag up the correct way and continue to prime the IV tubing through as per normal. You can turn the roller clamp off to do this, but if you are smooth you can just re-tip the bag with it running.
- Once primed. Commence your IV infusion as per normal.
You have now expelled all the air from the IV bag.
Once the bag is empty, it will be completely collapsed and fluid will not be able to run down the IV line. Instead, it will stop at the half way mark in the drip chamber (If you are running via a pump you will get a pressure alarm at this time).