sorting it all out.

  1. I need some good tips for sorting out lines. Today I had a pt with 8 continuous IV infusions, a PA catheter, 2 chest tubes, and 3 other drains, an A line and the CVP transduced. All the infusions were stopcocked into the distal or prox. infusion ports of the swan. I labeled every line,and untangeled them at the beginning of the shift but it was still a really bad/irritating mess of lines. any good tips here?
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Nurseprotect
    Originally posted by hollykate:
    I need some good tips for sorting out lines. Today I had a pt with 8 continuous IV infusions, a PA catheter, 2 chest tubes, and 3 other drains, an A line and the CVP transduced. All the infusions were stopcocked into the distal or prox. infusion ports of the swan. I labeled every line,and untangeled them at the beginning of the shift but it was still a really bad/irritating mess of lines. any good tips here?
    Been there and do that all the time in Intensive Care.
    I label all of the lines with color specific tape-I write the substance infusing and place it at the end of the tubing closest to the patient. Then I place a piece of the same colored tape near every injection port of the same line, on the pump infusing the drug-with a label in capital letters, and another piece of colored tape wrapped around the drip chamber of the tubing. This is time consuming but it is a safety issue and that should be of the highest importance in providing care.
    Whenever possible, keep Intravenous tubing on one side of the bed and other tubes such as NG suction, J tube feeding, etc. on the opposite side.
    Steve Lee, RN
    Phoenix, AZ
  4. by   hollykate
    Steve, thanks for the tip trying to keep the suction stuff and enteral feeds on one side of the bed. Like I said in my post, I labeled every line. What I mean by that is I labeled the pumps, the line, the chamer and right at the tubing where it was stopcocked into the swan ports. I would never take care of a pt like this without labeling the lines!!!
  5. by   Jenny P
    There is a company that has some marking pens that have an opening on the side of the tip that you can run the marker right down the length of the IV tubing and it color-codes the whole line from the pump to the end of the IV tube. Our hospital had these for a while and they were very handy to use when the pt. was first rolled into the ICU from surgery and you're trying to get them settled, get report, label lines, check drips and rates, etc. We don't have those markers any more, so I don't know it the company is still in business or not.It was a simple system which at least helped you see which line went where, but it didn't tell you what it was.
  6. by   hollykate
    JennyP- I will try to find those pens. One thing that has made me very very nervous with this pt is that I didn't have a "go-line". I don't know that I could remember eight different colors, but a GO line would have lowered my stress. I know my hospital would never provide them, but I think I could swing that Thanks. Its been a difficult buch of days with this pt.

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