Adding a burette to an IV line

by medicalnurse2018 (New) New

I have a question regarding Burettes.

For example there is an 1000ml bag of IV fluids running through an infusion pump and attached to a patients IV cannula with the IV line already primed previously.

Is it safe to stop the IV fluids, and whilst leaving the line in the pump, add a burette between the bag of fluid and IV line without risk of air embolism?

The pump should pick up any air that was created in the line shouldn't it? Or is it somehow possible air could enter the line and therefore the patient?


iluvivt, BSN, RN

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion. Has 32 years experience. 2,773 Posts

It's best to set it up that way before to avoid the risk of contamination but yes it can de done.Discconnect the primary line spike from the IV bag.Spike the burette or volutrol making certain the slide clamp or roller clamp is clamped and then fill the burnette to the desired level then spike that with the primary tubing you disconnected. You have to very careful to take the IV bag down and invert it when you are unspiking it and be careful not to contaminate the might take 2 people to do this.As far as air goes if you are careful you will not generate any significant amount.The only piece of IV equipment that can trap air is an air retentive filter and modern pumps have air alarms.Still best to plan ahead and set it up from the start to minimize the disconnections which increase the risk the risk of infection.

AnnieOaklyRN, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ED, Pedi Vasc access, Paramedic serving 6 towns. 2,577 Posts

You would need to disconnect it all and start over since to much air would be introduced into the tubing, which would of course set the pump off.