1. I am a student nurse,and in my exposure to nursing I have heard the term IV bolus,not in the sense of giving a bolus thru a hep. lock,but in terms of a bolus of a Iv bag that is currently running. Could someone explain how to give a bolus of an IV solution?
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   JenKatt
    I'm not sure what you are asking, since you say not thru a heplock, but a bag. An IV bolus for fluid, any type of fluid is giving a large amount of fluid over a short amount of time. Example, normally a post op patient will get 75 - 150 cc of fluid an hour, the bag will last any where from 6 to 10 hours. When you give a bolus, the doctor will write: D51/2NS 1000cc over 2 hours. Meaning you will give the bag at 500cc an hour. When a patient is hypovolemic, you will run the bag wide open, meaning the clamp is wide open and you run it in as fast as the bag will allow.
    I hope this helps
  4. by   hoolahan
    The terminology differs with where you work and where you live sometimes too. Often, when changing hospitals, you hear the nurses and docs use different lingo than you're used to.

    For example, one hospital I worked at described an IV bolus, as anything given over a short time IV, and usually, it was referred to in this way IVP (IV Push)= IV Bolus, regarding meds.

    If we gave IV fluids in a large amount over a short period, we called that a fluid challenge, usually when urine output was low and we wanted to "challenge" the patient's fluid state to increase urine output, if no response the next step was usually either more fluid OR IV lasix. If the pt was hypovolemic, we "tanked him up" with "more volume". I don't think I have ever written the words "IV Bolus" on an verbal order for IVF, but it doesn't surprise me that others use it frequently.

    I will never forget one of my first days working in an open heart unit. The docs and nurses were referring to the pt as "wet". I vividly remember going over to the pt, and discreetly running my hand up his arm to see if he was diaphoretic and I just couldn't see it! What they meant was, he had a high chest tube output, and they were concerned that he was bleeding too much!! THEN, the following post-op day, if you heard someone say he was "wet", it meant that the CXR shows some degree of pulmonary edema, and lasix was indicated.

    The bottom line is, don't be afraid to ask, especially when it comes to IV's. Always clarify what is actualy meant by an order before you carry it out.

    PS, Anything you can give via IV can be given via hep lock. However, if it has the skinny extension tubing on it, it is difficult to get a blood transfusion to run through that, especially if the pt needs it fast (usually not the case on a Med-surg unit.)
  5. by   ohbet
    Thank you for the two replies,sorry but dont have access to the names of who replied as I type,answering my bolus question,both were helpful and clarifying,this is a great web. site.