Choosing the Infusion Set


I have the Henke's Med-Math book (6th edition). It provides vague guidelines as to making decisions regarding which IV tubing to choose.

States to Use Microdrip When:

IV is to be administered over a long period (but does not specify)

A small amount of fluid id to be infused (but does not specify)

Macrodrips per minute are too few (but again, does not specify)

Use Microdrip When:

Order specifies large amount of fluid over a short time

The microdrips per minute are too many, and counting the drip rate becomes to difficult

I need help with a general set of guidelines. This (as of now) is primarily for calculation purposes for an upcoming DDC test.

Thanks in advance!

Specializes in Emergency, Critical Care (CEN, CCRN). Has 4 years experience.

In our IV module, we were told to use macro sets for basic fluids (NS, LR, D5 1/2, etc) and for large volumes over relatively short periods (i.e. > 250 mL over 8 hr), and - the biggie - for use in pump systems.

In the real world, my hospital standardized with pump-compatible (we use Alaris) micro sets, so everything goes on a micro set, pumped or not, low or high volume. Your facility may vary.

Hope this helps!

Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

page 308, intravenous therapy: clinical principles and practice, by judy terry, leslie baranowski, rose anne lonsway and carolyn hedrick, published by the intravenous nurses society, 1995. . ."microdrip tubing is the most suitable for infusion rates of less than 100 ml/hour. microdrip tubing is usually termed pediatric, although it is used as much or more in adults in whom high rates are not necessary. microdrop sizes are usually 50 to 60 drops/ml.

microdrip tubing, by restricting the flow even with the control clamp wide open, allows an added safety feature against runaway iv lines or free flow. both phenomena can still occur, but they are slowed considerably with microdrip tubing. this characteristic makes this tubing especially safe for pediatric, geriatric and volume-restricted patients."