Blood pressures and IV sites ...

  1. It was taught to me in school that you don't take a blood pressure on the same side as a saline lock or site that is infusing because you'll damage the site.

    I have only been working for a short period but I have come across multiple nursing assistants and even a handful of nurses who will take the blood pressure on a side with IV access (even if the other side is perfectly fine for a pressure).

    I remember asking a nurse about this once - she told me that as long as the site is saline locked, it is fine.


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  3. by   EmmaG
    I avoid it if at all possible. If I must take a pressure on the same side as an IV, I stop the pump and do a manual BP. (same for when there's a saline lock)
  4. by   Silverdragon102
    I too try to avoid it but if I have no choice then the infusion is stopped whilst I take bp and then restarted
  5. by   confused101
    I am the same too. I work on a renal floor and you know it's hard to get one in these patients. I always do the other arm if I can. Now for the fistula arm you can't so I stop the IV pump before the b/p. I hate thoes machines. I have gotten some crazy numbers. I always want manual if I can.
  6. by   nc4986
    do you always have to use the arm or can you use a thigh cuff and bypass that all together? it probably depends on the Pt huh?
  7. by   TinkRN8
    Hi, prenursing student here, but I actually had the "opportunity" of being a patient in a hospital for 2 1/2 wks this past summer. At one point, I had an IV in one arm and a PICC in the other. I was having to have my pressure taken every 15 min so I was on an electronic cuff that automatically came on every 15 min. Thank goodness that was only for one day! Anyway, they put it around my ankle as they said they would not use either arm with the lines in. Of course I was asking questions, being pre-nursing. They said it could blow a vein and/or cause trouble with the IV and PICC line. Even when I was having my pressure taken by the home health nurse, they never took my pressure on the arm with the PICC line. I know that is different than a reg IV, but same principal I think.
  8. by   danh3190
    In my school they teach us never to take a BP in the arm with a line in. Of course at school I never do, but on the ambulance I've never had a problem using an arm with a peripheral line with a saline lock or a bag dripping by gravity. Don't know if there's a problem when a pump is actually being used. I'd probably stop a drip of any nasty meds e.g. dopamine in case the back pressure might cause extravasation.

    I wouldn't use an arm with a PICC line, but haven't looked for any research one way or the other.