Hello all, I am a student in their last preceptorship and have a question about transfusions that I've been confusing myself with!
A couple weeks ago my preceptor and I were giving blood to an elderly man. Before we started the transfusion she told me that we needed to switch his regular saline lock over to one with 2 extensions, like a double saline lock that comes together at the insertion site (I hope the terminology makes sense, I'm in Canada). At first I assumed this was so if their was a reaction, we could switch our patient back over to a normal infusion pronto. But afterwards I wasn't so sure because another nurse on our team said she wouldn't have done it that way, she would have just switched out the lines and capped the regular infusion so that it would be ready to go if needed.
Both of those options made sense I suppose, my only problem with the first scenario is if we did have to stop the blood, we would have blood hanging out in one of the extensions while running the normal infusion, which seems kind of weird. Unless we flushed the blood-containing extension through, which doesn't seems like a good idea if their was a reaction going on.
Can anybody clarify what the easiest and safest IV line set up is for blood transfusions? It seems to me the easiest to manage (as long as you were careful) would be to D/C the regular infusion saline lock and all, cap it to keep it sterile, and switch the lines at the catheter hub.