Size of Angiocath for IV

  1. 0
    Curious.....what size angiocath is routinely used for your labor and antepartum patients? We are using 18 gauges but of course, if we can't get it after a couple attempts, will use a smaller size. Our unit is considering using 20 g routinely, since blood, if needed, can be given with a 20 gauge. I appreciate your feedback! Thanks
  2. 19 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Every unit I've been on had 18s as the standards and we were allowed to use 20s if needed. I really don't think the size of the cath makes a huge difference, but that's me.
  4. 0
    We use 18g. We have anesthesia start the IV if even our best IV starters can't get it.
  5. 0
    I think 18g IVs should be the standard. Yes, you can run blood through a 20g, but when hemorrhaging occurs, you need an IV that you can rapidly run the blood through. Review Poiseule's Law of Physics regarding flow rates and pressure.
  6. 0
    18's for us, we will drop back to a 20 when we really have to. Anaesthesia is our back up if we need a larger bore for blood.

    Not to side track, a related question.

    I am wondering if gauge r/t color of hub is standardized. We get transfers in daily and without documentation of what kind of IV the pt has we have to guess to ourselves and document only what we can see.


    Our 18's are green and 20's are pink. Anyone else?
  7. 0
    Quote from ragingmomster

    I am wondering if gauge r/t color of hub is standardized. We get transfers in daily and without documentation of what kind of IV the pt has we have to guess to ourselves and document only what we can see.


    Our 18's are green and 20's are pink. Anyone else?
    Yes, ours in NC, are also green (18g), pink (20g), gray (16g). I believe they are standardized.
  8. 0
    18 G are green -- 20 g Pink --- 22 g Blue

    I just find we rarely give blood anymore ---- delivering about 2,000 babies a year. In the last few years, I've given blood twice and that was the day after birth (not a true emergency situation) A few nurses on my unit just feel that if we start putting 20's in everyone routinely, our pts would be happier and a successful first stick would be increased. Blood can always be started with the 20 g angiocath and if you need to have a bigger one for faster infusion, why not start an 18 at that time?

    Of course, you could say that in a true emergency, time is precious, and what if you are unable to get an 18 in at that time? How about a pump for the blood to increase the rate? We usually use free flow tubing for IV solutions and blood. The anesthesiologist would normally be present during surgery of course and could do a second line .......

    My unit wants to improve nursing care to reflect evidence based practice. I'd appreciate your input. Thanks!
  9. 0
    ICU RN here. Have never done L and D. But saw the post, wanted to put in my two cents worth. Routinely blood is given through an #18g IV. However, if push comes to shove they can use a #20g, but definately would not infuse through at #22g. Besides the blood not being able to run at a decent rate, you also risk hemolyzing the blood and then it is pretty much worthless.
  10. 0
    We are asked/required to use 18G for all OB pts requiring IV/saline lock. In some very tough sticks, who blow easily, I have been known to use a 20g however. Anesthesia would prefer we used 16g but nobody does where I am.
  11. 0
    ICU nurse is right; you can infuse blood in a 20g----push to shove. But you are best off starting w/an 18g if you can do it!


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