Question about IV pumps

  1. We have an old one and a new one that we use for our abx infusions, which go through the venous chamber. Being a new nurse, I have a couple questions (i have seen it done 2 ways!)
    The bag is 150ml NS, let's say we add 10ml for reconstituted abx. This equals 160ml, which I dial into the machine for infusion over an hour or whatever. If I put in 160ml, then at the end, there is still some left in the tubing. Pt does not get all his abx.
    Same scenario, instead we dial in let's say 180ml, to help push some more through the lines to "get it all in". Eventually it is going to be sucking air through the line from the bag, which is going to trip the air alarm on the iv pump.

    What is the correct way to do this so the patient get all their meds? Is the fluid left in the line considered an "insensible loss?" Surely not.

    thanks for your thoughts!
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    Joined: Nov '06; Posts: 808; Likes: 248
    LVN, Dialysis
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    5 Comments

  3. by   corky1272RN
    I have the same problem as well. It is such a small amt that hopefully it won't matter too much. I have tried various ways to get it all in with no success. I have thought of using a syringe to draw up the last bit but have never tried.
  4. by   Tish88
    The same would happen if you was giving an antibiotic via a hep lock on a pump in regular nursing.
    That is such a small amount that I would not worry about.
  5. by   iluvivt
    Your thinking is correct...in order for the patient to get their prescribed dose.....the entire volume in the bag should be emptied........so if you have 160 as you said..infuse that...then look and see how much is left in the bag...and add that...so sy you estimate you have 10 ml left...then set the pump to administer 10 ml,,,Does your pump have an air alarm...b/c if you overestimate the volume the pump will alarm when the air in the tubing gets to the level of the pump?,,,You really should deliver the volume in the bag...You do not need to worry about the volume in the drip chamber or the tubing....do not draw this up with a syringe and administer it....priming volumes are much lower than you would think
  6. by   GeauxNursing
    yea ok cool. The bag is empty, but I was worried about the amt in the line because once the air reaches the clamp, there is no way to get it out any further
  7. by   Tish88
    Once the air hits the air detector on the IV pump, the only fluid that is left is in the tubing. The inside lumen size of the IV tubing is so small that there really isn't much fluid left.
    If this is a real concern, the manufactures of the IV pumps would be putting the air detectors at the ends of the tubing.

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