Why cannot give IV medication via artery?

  1. Hi, I'm new here, please help me to answer the above question.
    It's looks like stupid question but it bothers my mind.
    I have been searching the answer from internet but I unable to get a good answer. :zzzzz
    What I know all the time nurses are giving IV medication via vein and not artery,
    and recently I learn something new, IV medication is given via artery during TACE.
    I will appreciate your sharing.
    Thank you!
  2. Visit suizzz profile page

    About suizzz

    Joined: Aug '09; Posts: 8; Likes: 1


  3. by   Jolie
    I do not know of any situation where it is desirable to give an IV med. arterially. Even in patients with arterial lines, the primary purpose of the line is to monitor B/Ps and allow for ABG sampling, not to administer meds. Arterial lines tend to have a limited lifespan and one would not want to jeopardize the integrity of the line by giving a med, which is likely to be an irritant to the artery and cause spasm, thus risking the line. If a patient is sick enough to need an art line, s/he is sick enough to have IV access as well, which is the appropriate route for meds. In a dire emergency, with only arterial access, it occasionally happens, but to my knowledge, never if there are other alternatives.

    What is TACE?

    Edited to add: I Googled TACE and see that it is a special procedure where chemo is given via artery to treat liver cancer. This takes place in a procedure room, under highly controlled circumstances. Not the same as a nurse giving a med in the ICU.
    Last edit by Jolie on Aug 8, '09
  4. by   lsyorke
    TACE appears to be a very specific application for a very specific chemo.


    As for other medications, there simply is no need to use an artery and the risks and dangers are massive.
  5. by   suizzz
    Thank you for your sharing.:1luvu:
    I just want to find out why cannot give IV med. arterially?
    It must be a reason there, isn't?
    TACE is transarterial chemoembolization.:typing
  6. by   Be_Moore
    Medications in general tend to be caustic to some degree, some more than others (phenergan for example). Say you find a medication that destroys a vein (blows an IV or some such, infiltrates, etc)....the damage to a vein is massive, but you have a lot of veins. Now, if you damage an artery the same way, you might compromise the entire extremity. It's just dangerous to the vessel.
  7. by   suizzz
    Actually, what I heard from other seniors are:
    1. giving IV medication arterially can cause thrombosis.
    2. giving IV medication arterially can damage artery and necrotic because artery will spasm after injection.
    It is true?
    I need some prove...
  8. by   canoehead
    One artery leads to many smaller capillaries and a caustic drug has the potential of destroying the capillary bed if given too fast or in too high a concentration. If infection is introduced the same dangers apply.

    Research has focused on safe administration via veins, there is little to no data on the proper concentration when a med is given via artery.

    Veins lead to larger vessels rather than smaller ones, the drug is gradually diluted as it moves away from the injection site. Even if you made an error in technique during administration a vein would be more forgiving because of the direction of blood flow.

    When giving a med via artery there is potential to damage tissue because of the fluid volume that displaces the oxygen carrying blood. How long does it take to cause damage /how long is the capillary bed exposed to the diluted blood? None of these questions have been answered, and I would bet they would be different for every person.

    And as you mentioned arterial spasm is an issue all in itself.
  9. by   lpnstudentin2010
    you dont give iv meds in an artery because it is an intravenous drug not intraartery that would be an ia (I am a smart alec I know) (i am not a nurse or a student yet just a patient)
  10. by   Agrippa
    Arteries are very deep and very high pressure.
  11. by   Ginger's Mom
    I can't imagine even trying to push a medication via an artery due to the pressure.
  12. by   labordude
    In some situations and clinical areas, medication can be and is often given via an arterial line. Two of the NICUs I have worked in split the TPN through the umbilical arterial and umbilical venous lines, though these are both central and we would not have been done if it were a peripheral art line. I have also seen other medications including morphine given through a central arterial line. In the world of premature babies, things can be a little different.
  13. by   work&play
    IntraVENUS???? Go back to your A&P book and read the difference between artery and vein. Tissue type, oxigen, direction of blood flow.
  14. by   Woodenpug
    I had once worked with a population of patients who used I.V. access for recreational purposes.

    I asked many questions, such as why insulin needles (they call them orange caps). I even asked "why not use an artery?", since you have so few veins left? The answer - I don't think it would be as much fun if my hand got high.