Working out these IV Pumps...

  1. So I'm learning about these IV pumps... Most of what I'm delivering is non-critical, Saline solutions, Blood, etc... and almost always on the ward.

    When I'm using these things all I'm really interested in is setting a mls/hr flow rate and letting the bag run through. I don't want the added complication of having to set Volume to be infused (VTBI) or any of the other stuff.

    Does anyone else find that they don't use the 'OTHER STUFF' ? Why would I need to set VTBI aswell?
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    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 17; Likes: 1


  3. by   BrnEyedGirl
    I always set my VTBI at 100cc less than the bag holds to avoid running dry and having to reprime my tubing, it also gives me a few extra minutes to get another bag ready. You can't just tell the pump to run at 100cc/hr indefinately,'ll run out of fluid! The pump is a must for peds and CHF pts who could easily be overloaded, and of course meds you must dose. I think you're making this too difficult. Once you are used to it, it is easy,..keeping playing with them.
  4. by   classicdame
    OMG---------so far you have been very lucky. The alarms are on the pumps for a reason - to prevent patient from getting overdose or fluid overload or both. We have safety pumps that REQUIRE specific info be considered. Nurses are not allowed to calculate themselves. Our intent is to protect the nurse and the patient both.
  5. by   AnnieNHRN
    I always use the VTBI!
    You want the pump to alarm when the bag is almost empty so it won't run dry. I usually set a 1 liter bag to about 970ml. So I have plenty of time when it alarms to get a new bag.
    It also keeps track of how much volume has been infused. It help with your I&O's.
    You definitely will learn to use "the other stuff" when you hang secondaries or want to run two bags concurrently.
  6. by   humblecirculator
    I'm sorry to read that you categorize blood transfusion as "non-critical"... truly - any 'fluid' that we infuse into some's body is critical - the skin integrity is broken and risks for complications ensue: infiltration, phlebitis, air embolis, fluid overload - cardiac problems...etc etc etc
    is a wonderous machine that requires critical thinking on how to care for it when it is not in homeostasis
  7. by   miko014
    I've never seen a pump that allowed you to set it without a VTBI. If not, then why on earth would you even use a pump?? If you don't set that, the pump has no idea how much fluid is there, and won't do anything until the air reaches the sensor. By that time, you're going to have to re-prime. Those pumps are there to save you time and protect you!

    I have seen pumps where you have to input the drug, the amount, the BSA, etc. That can get a bit tedious, but overall I think it's an important safety feature. Just my , but I think once you get the hang of it, you're going to like it.
  8. by
    Does anyone ever set these things using a VTBI over a time period and never entering a flowrate?
  9. by   smurfy
    I try to use all the features on the pumps, especially the VTBI and the Time Remaining features. I program the pumps so that it alarms when I have one hour of fluids left..that way my short half life fluids never get close to running dry. VTBI is great for when you only give certain amounts of fluids. I like seening how much time is left on a bag so that I can replace it before it runs out or replace the bag for the next shift so that they are not chansing empty bags at the begining of the shift.
  10. by   cherrybreeze
    You are really preoccupied with the whole IV pump issue, aren't you? This isn't the first topic you've started on it, and for the life of me, I can't figure out the big deal?

    You use several features for "standard" infusion, not just the flowrate. Using VTBI gives you a heads-up on changing the bag so your line doesn't run dry. The pump totals your infusion and adds in your secondary bags.

    It would never make sense to NOT use a pump for any infusion given long-term (and by "long-term" I mean given over more than a couple HOURS). Too much difficulty in controlling the flow rate otherwise, just one factor being positional IV sites.
  11. by   WalkieTalkie
    Heh, obviously you've never had someone before you set the VTBI on a pressor as more than what's in the bag. That's why I always check my pumps at the beginning of the shift.
  12. by   RNperdiem
    Let's say I have to give a 500mL bolus and Lactated Ringers only comes in 1000mL bags. I will surely use the VTBI to make sure I give the correct amount.
  13. by   ayla2004
    our new pumps have drug librarys can work out rate from vtbi and time etc
    they are great.
  14. by   AnnieNHRN
    IV MAD... are you having trouble with programing the IV pumps? Don't be afraid to ask a seasoned nurse to explains the set up, even if it takes you multiple explanations! There are no stupid questions. The most important thing is that you become a nurse who feels confident and SAFE.
    I work in a team where we all feel comfortable going to each other and saying "I am having a brain fart.. can you double check this with me?" Don't be afraid to ask for help. The most dangerous nurse is one who only thinks she can/should "figure it out herself".
    Good luck.