I'm currently doing my senior internship for nursing school. The other day, I set up a piggyback using the "backpriming" method, where you hook everything up and then lower the piggyback bag so the primary fluids run into the piggyback tubing. The primary tubing was on a pump where I set the primary rate and piggyback rate. This was my first time trying to backprime... I figured this method would be better because I am likely to waste some of the med if I prime the piggyback tubing the regular way. (I make a mess with everything I do
If I remember correctly, I let a little too much fluid into the piggyback tubing, so the drip chamber was pretty much full. I couldn't see the drips coming out of the bag, but the pump was running and all my clamps were open so I figured everything was hunky dory. Well, I came back later and none of the antibiotic had run in! My preceptor came in, disconnected the tubing, let a little of the fluid run out and then hooked it back up. We watched as the pump ran and the primary NSS actually backed up into the piggyback tubing, raising the level in the drip chamber. We even tried putting the tubing on a different pump, and same thing happened.
So, what the heck did I do wrong to screw this set up so badly? My preceptor was as stumped as I was!! (We ended up adjusting the rate manually via roller clamp and running it in by gravity, which worked. Obviously not ideal, though.)