How long is a spiked IV bag good?

  1. Our floor has decided that it's cheaper to hang a 500 cc NS bag in the med room, it is spiked, has tubing about 2 feet long and on the end of the tubing there a connector where you can screw on a 20cc luer lock syringe and easily fill the syringe to use as a flush. So the whole system is closed. How long would you think those fluids are good for? Some say one thing some say another.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   hypocaffeinemia
    We learned in school (this semester) bags stay up for 24 hours max even if they simply have normal saline in them.

    I would think the same would be true even if it's hanging in the med room.
  4. by   Jolie
    Wow! We stopped doing that about 20 years ago, when it was determined that the risk of contamination was high (with so many nurses accessing the system), plus the danger of carrying unlabeled syringes of saline.

    I would strongly encourage your pharmacy, infection control and risk management departments to think twice about this practice. BTW, at that time, we used the bags of fluid for 24 hours.
  5. by   suanna
    The bag would be good for 1 use! Your institution is CRAZY if they allow this. Please check with your policy/procedure of safety committee before continuing this practice. The risk of contamination is unacceptable!
  6. by   chenoaspirit
    Plus, you really and truely dont know who you can trust. Who knows what crazy person would something IN that IV bag. Ya see crazy things like that on the news all the time. I would not feel comfortable with that type of setup at all for various reasons!
  7. by   hypocaffeinemia
    The hospital I work at, the one I worked at years ago, and the two I do my clinicals at all have pre-filled and individually wrapped 10 mL saline flushes. I kind of assumed this would be the standard in most situations. The only place I've had to make saline flushes routinely was when I volunteered with the ambulance and we spent a good portion of our off time drawing up flushes (and appropriately labeling them).
  8. by   sjt9721
    What everyone else said...plus...check with any JCAHO surveyor and see what they think about the idea!
  9. by   elizabells
    Yikes. We have pre-filled NS flushes, and if our pt has an art line they have their own 100ml bag of NS/heparin, prepped and labeled by pharmacy, kept at the bedside. We can fully be written up for "borrowing" off another's bag, per our ID department.

    To answer the actual question, though, our fluids are labeled for a 28-hour time frame, just in case pharm is running behind getting us the next day's fluids.
  10. by   GrumpyRN63
    Quote from binkiern
    our floor has decided that it's cheaper to hang a 500 cc ns bag in the med room, it is spiked, has tubing about 2 feet long and on the end of the tubing there a connector where you can screw on a 20cc luer lock syringe and easily fill the syringe to use as a flush. so the whole system is closed. how long would you think those fluids are good for? some say one thing some say another.
    wow ,i've never seen this in practice, before the days of individually packaged 10cc syringes, we used closed /sterile 10 cc ns vials and drew up into a syringe as needed. that being said, i would absolutely never draw off a hanging iv bag for flushes, i can't believe something like that would even be legal. i would never trust the 'sterility' of that 'closed; system, too many cooks in the kitchen with god knows what kind of technique. i'd investigate your p and p on this one.
    otoh, if it were a running iv, 24 hrs is the cut off.
  11. by   10MG-IV
    Quote from BinkieRN
    Our floor has decided that it's cheaper to hang a 500 cc NS bag in the med room, it is spiked, has tubing about 2 feet long and on the end of the tubing there a connector where you can screw on a 20cc luer lock syringe and easily fill the syringe to use as a flush. So the whole system is closed. How long would you think those fluids are good for? Some say one thing some say another.
    Like the chip commercial says, GET YOUR OWN BAG. don't use a "community" bag. God know what deranged fool might spike it with and then you are sitting in front of a JUDGE explaining yourself.
  12. by   suzanne4
    Just because your facility thinks that it is cheaper, it is not the thing to be doing. It used to be done like that in the past, but is no longer a viable choice for many reasons.

    I would refuse to take any fluid from there and use on my patients and you should to.

    Not sure who decided to go back to something that was done years ago, but is no longer considered acceptable practice.

    The only time that you actually see a set-up like that is in the pharmacy when they are under a hood and mixing medications, but no place else is it considered acceptable.
  13. by   shellsgogreen
    if this happened in my hospital, i would be written up every day, as i would refuse to follow this absurd practice.
  14. by   Andie13RN
    I would never do that and report those genious

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