Transfusions through small bore IV's

  1. What's your institution's policy for transfusing blood products and is there any specifications regarding catheter size? I'v been noticing some nurses transfuse PRBC's thru 24 ga IV's. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   justanurse
    Our hospital's policy is to use a 20 gauge or larger cathalon for blood products.
  4. by   Marjie
    At our hospital we don't specify in policy, but in practice a #20ga is usually the gauge of choice. RBCs infuse better through a larger gauge, but unless the patient has great, huge veins, I find #18ga very irritating. Blood will infuse through a #22ga, but not as well. Our policy is that a unit of RBCs cannot hang for longer than 4 hours and I find the smaller the gauge, the longer the infusion takes, making it almost useless to try to infuse through a #24ga.
    Originally posted by Terrie Hogan:
    What's your institution's policy for transfusing blood products and is there any specifications regarding catheter size? I'v been noticing some nurses transfuse PRBC's thru 24 ga IV's. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    I work in a trauma center and we too don't have a written policy for blood infusion (as far as the size IV). I have infused blood through a 22 ga with fine results using a warmer/pump. Since I mainly work with volume-depleted people, I put in the largest bore IV I can. If I can only put in a 22ga, then I fluid resuscitate them and go at it again with something bigger. That may be an option for you.
  6. by   3651bht
    We use pumps almost exclusively and once I had a 22G and it worked fine. What size is used on an infant or a snall child?? Also, be careful there have been some successful lawsuits because a nurse used a gauge that was too large for the vein. BT RN BSN ONC CLNC.
  7. by   alaskanRNx2
    i cannot find a policy. a member of our team has told us all a 22 is ok. but does this size break the cells?

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  8. by   Lyssia
    Well, I work in the NICU, and the BIGGEST gauge we use is 24, but with the smaller babies, we use 26g.. and we transfuse all of the time with no problems..(of course, it is at a slower rate..)

  9. by   dsotis
    Our hospital policy is 18g, but we also use smaller if needed due to vein size and just run at slower rate to keep from destroying the cells
  10. by   glo
    Originally posted by Terrie Hogan:
    What's your institution's policy for transfusing blood products and is there any specifications regarding catheter size? I'v been noticing some nurses transfuse PRBC's thru 24 ga IV's. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

    i work in an nicu we infused blood thru a 24 g using a microbore tubing via syringe pump without difficulties.

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