Use of AIR filters on IV infusions

  1. Would you mind answering a simple question for me. I have been asked to find out how often and in what circumstances a nurse would add an AIR filter to an IV infusion. Most IV infusion pumps have some sort of air detecting sensor. Just wondering how many hospitals are still requiring nurses to add an additional air - in- line filter to IV infusions

    Thanks for any help you can provide
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    About 66nurse678

    Joined: Dec '02; Posts: 6
    clinical consultant, senior clinical research associate


  3. by   ageless
    Trying to help, but confused....
    are you asking about vented tubing or air detection?
  4. by   nursecheryl
    Remember that IV filters are not just used to prevent air from getting to the patient, but it prevents bacteria and other contaminants from getting to the patient as well. Certain medications cannot be filtered because the medication will be filtered right out of it. When I worked in the NICU we use to use special filters for the lipids and than hang it under the filter for the TPN (I forget what it is called for neonates). The hospital will have a policy of what needs to be filtered and what does not need filtered, some things have to be filtered by you before you hang it (like blood). What type of filter to use for what you are administering. This is a very important part of IV nursing. If we don't know what we are doing it can be dangerous to the client. The medication books will also tell you how to administer and if it needs a filter, including what type or size filter. I have a IV administration book that gives you all this information
  5. by   teeituptom
    Air filters ??????????????
  6. by   OzNurse69
    I'm with you, Tom....never heard of an IV air filter......
  7. by   Edward,IL
    The Infusion Nurses Society has published standards of care. These are the professional standards that all nurses in the USA can be held accountable for (attorneys know this and will bring this to court. It's an easy case for them as the standards are very clear in black and white. Interestingly, anyone (including MD's) administering IV fluids can and will be held to these standards.
    Get a copy of the IV Nurses Society Standards of Practice and get your institutions policies up to date.
  8. by   nursecheryl
    I'd be very interested in reading the published standards of care. I'm sure the hospital I worked for was up to date in their policies, but would like to see if there have been any changes since I've left the hospital and started working in home care with IV therapy as one of my specialties. Can you send a link of this policy or standard.

  9. by   66nurse678
    Thanks to all of you for your replies, I too would be interested in the link to the published standards. I am really looking for an answer to do you ever just add a filter to an IV infusion as a means of protecting the patient from any air infusing into them via the IV line? I realize alot of the filters do both but am intersted if anyone is adding a filter just for air.
  10. by   nursecheryl
    When I've used filters I believe it was mostly used for removal of contaminants with the added benifit of removal of air. I can be wrong though. I just know we had strict guidelines of when to use and not use a filter, and what type to use. If you are administering the iv into a vein a small amount of air is not going to hurt the patient. But, if you are administering into an arterial line you have to make sure not one drop of air gets in and we use special techniques to do that, not with air filters, but specific techniques and lines to prevent air from getting in.
  11. by   dawngloves
    I have used filters for infusions of TPN and for blood for special reasons I can't remember what ....
    I know pumps will alarm for air in tubing. I once heard that you would have to administer a whole tubing full of air all at once to harm an adult patient.
  12. by   emily_mom
    All of our IV tubing has air filters. Our IMEDs also have the sensor and will check the line occassionally. Nice, but a pain in the butt at times. If you have one tiny bubble, it will set it off sometimes. Grrrr....
  13. by   nurse2002
    Ive worked in a couple facilities that it is policy to put an air filter on every set of iv tubing hung. Then I have worked at others that dont stock them at all. The pharm sends them up with drugs that require them such as iv protonix. Though this filter is more to filter out particles than air. Then you have blood filters to filter out small clots and such.
  14. by   P_RN
    Glass IV bottles need an air VENT. Is that possibly what you are thinking of?