? about IVs vs Saline Locks

  1. I don't know if I am weird or not. I'm not a big fan of saline locks unless it is strictly for a "just in case" when they get to the floor. Otherwise, when starting a saline lock, I will opt for a 250 ml bag of saline with extension tubing hooked in.
    One reason I do this, is that usually if I am starting an IV site, then I have probably been given orders for medications and I just don't like giving meds without a running IV. I'd rather flush the med in with running fluid than to try and push it in slow and then flush with 6 ccs of saline after. It seems like to me it is easier to give a slow IV push by letting the fluids run and push the meds a little at time (no, I don't pinch the tubing).
    If giving someone nitro, I always hang a 500 ml bag; I've seen too many patients dump their blood pressure and then the nurses are scrambling to grab fluids and hang them in a hurry.
    If I am giving an antibiotic, I will hang a 250 bag and piggyback the ATBS into it, then when the ATBS is through, I just have to let the fluid run long enough to chase the rest of the ATBS in, then I put it at KVO.
    Just wondered if anyone else had any thoughts or things they do that are helpful hints.

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    About MrsWampthang

    Joined: Oct '03; Posts: 706; Likes: 146
    RN in Prior Authorization for State Sponsored Business
    Specialty: Emergency room, med/surg, UR/CSR


  3. by   zambezi
    Working in critical care, I usually have stuff running though my IVs...if I have a patient that is becoming more mobile, I try to saline lock them because I think that it is a pain to have one more tubing cluttering the bed and getting tangled up with the rest of my tubing/wires, etc. If they have a big line (ie: cordis) in then I do usually have a tko though it, little IVs I just usually leaved locked and flush Q8 with saline. If I am running frequent antibiotics, I usually have a little 250 bag that I can piggyback the antibiotic in with but then disconnect it after a little flush has gone in....just my way of doing things...I hate having extra tubing all over the place!
  4. by   dphrn
    I like locks if they are flushed every eight hours to keep them patent. Too often they are not flushed and when you do need to use it, you find yourself having to start a new IV because people are too lazy to flush them. :angryfire