how do you know if you put an iv in an artery? - page 2

I have three years of nursing experience. Over the past 6 months i have been doing iv insertion.I still get anxiety about it. My patient insisted that I put the iv into her antecubital area. I felt a... Read More

  1. by   psu_213
    In an AC vein, you will can get a very vigorous blood return using the access device (or when you remove the needle from the cath). I was once observing a nurse attempt to get an IV on a very tough stick (P.S., if you put it in the artery, it is not an IV, but I digress) and he hit an artery. You could tell because he hooked up the saline lock and with each pulse, blood would go up the line (with each pulse, blood would go another few mm up the line).

    It would be very tough to access an artery. Either way, though, make sure you flush before you give any med through the line.
  2. by   Esme12
    Especially with a systolic of will SQUIRT out of the catheter and will actually form a little arch as it squirts all over the place.....bu if in doubt......the IV will NOT run by gravity but pulsate (quickly) up the tube to the bag. Simple but effective..
  3. by   bjaeram
    You will know. Don't stress about it at all and if it happens you will definitely know. If you accidently do it it's not dangerous other then you need to hold extra pressure when you remove it because it will bleed a lot and a long time.
  4. by   nerdtonurse?
    Over the years, you're going to hit arteries and bone by mistake. I worry more about someone getting a vein instead of an artery during an ABG...they pull back and the blood looks purple, you're either not in an artery, or your patient's about to be seriously deceased.
  5. by   merlee
    I was an IV therapist for a number of years, sometimes starting up to 12 lines in an 8 hour shift. I hit an artery exactly once, and knew immediately.

    Just be prepared to hold pressure on it for quite a while.

    And try to NOT say "oh Sh!t" more than once!!!!