getting rid of an air bubble in an IV line

  1. 1
    How do you get rid of an air bubble in an IV line?
    gt4everpn likes this.
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  3. 27 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    There are a few things you can do but I typically just flush the line again by disconnecting the IV and letting it flow into a garbage can. I sometimes use a NS syringe, kink the top of the tubing and use one of the top ports to flush.. but it is easier just to let the line run for a few seconds.
  5. 0
    straighten the tubing and tap it (with a pen) so the air bubble rises
  6. 0
    Quote from GingerSue
    straighten the tubing and tap it (with a pen) so the air bubble rises
    Whenever I do that, the air bubble always seems to dislodge itself again.
  7. 0
    Quote from sistermike
    Whenever I do that, the air bubble always seems to dislodge itself again.
    And the pump goes back into occlusion. I have been told so many different ways of how to fix this which defy my reality. I will wait for my preceptership and revisit this issue.

    If you just tap, then you just send the bubble up to the next port. It will eventually show up again on the IV pump. I have spent many moments trying to get this bubble gone ONLY TO BE TOLD BY THE LPNS that will be graduating with us that the little 'champagne bubbles' in the line don't count.

    I disagree. Lots of little bubbles can add up to a large amount of air in the line. I am not willing to walk away from ANY air in the line.

    Thanks in advance!
  8. 0
    If it's a small one I'll flick it so it goes back up the tube into the drip chamber, or i'll disconnect and flush the line.
  9. 0
    I was wondering this myself seeing that I hung an IV yesterday, I ran a small amount into the garbage but some air was still left in the line, I didnt want to waste the med (Vancomycin) cause it comes pouring out so fast but wasting alittle is better than an air embolus, thanks!!
  10. 0
    Quote from gt4everpn
    I was wondering this myself seeing that I hung an IV yesterday, I ran a small amount into the garbage but some air was still left in the line, I didnt want to waste the med (Vancomycin) cause it comes pouring out so fast but wasting alittle is better than an air embolus, thanks!!
    Also if you have wasted a bit too much just make up a new infusion, better for the patient and all involved
  11. 2
    I've been told by several of my ER docs at work that it takes over 10ml of air to actually cause any problems. Not that it isn't good practice to remove as much as possible, I always do.

    I take a needle without a syringe on it and stick it in one of the ports below the air-the fluid and air will flow out of the port via needle, then just pull out the needle when the air is removed. It saves the time and discomfort of untaping and disconnecting the tubing to the hub.
    Last edit by USAstudent on Apr 22, '08 : Reason: grammer mistake
    marilynmom and MikeyJ like this.
  12. 8
    You really have too much time on your hands if you're worrying about small bubbles in an IV line...the doc that said it takes over 10ml's is right. Unless I'm working with a central line I really do not worry about small bubbles. I have had many, many very sick patients who get 2 liters or more of fluids within 30min to 1hr...do you think we are going to stop and take out a few bubbles...lol.

    Seriously...don't worry about it!!!
    daisy1976, SillyStudent, marilynmom, and 5 others like this.


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