Is it OK to give baking soda and water to LTC patient without a doctor order?


Aren't we suppose to get a doctor's order for it before giving it?

ComeTogether, LPN

1 Article; 2,165 Posts

Specializes in Keeping my head above water. Has 8 years experience.

I'm not a nurse, but I would thin since its technically a food you wouldn't need an order. Sorry to chime in but I noticed no one answered, and I have never known anyone to need a MD order for anything like that unless it contained medicine.

"No day but today"

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

Technically it's not a food.Sodium bicarbonate is a chemical compound with the formula NaHCO3.Sodium bicarbonate is used medicinally and you would need an order.It is used for conditions such as acidosis and hyperkalemia.It can be given orally or administered intravenously.

Specializes in ICU. Has 30 years experience.

Yes, I think you would need an order, and don't be surprised if the doctor does not give you one. I assume the patient wants this for heartburn. Baking soda with water is very good at relieving heartburn, but only for about an hour. The doctor would probably want to investigate why the patient is having heartburn or acid indigestion, and use a PPI or something instead.


2,836 Posts

I had given the patient phenergan twice and she said it didn't help much. She asked for baking soda in water to help with indigestion.

I told her I couldn't give it because I had no order to do so. She got ahold of the RN supervisor on duty and the supervisor gave it to her without a doctor's order. She said it really helped her out.

morte, LPN, LVN

7,015 Posts

yes, you need an order, and probably won't get one. This is really old time tx. and can be dangerous.

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

Repeated use can seriously interfere with the patient's PH ( i have been told). I currently have a patient that gets bicarb tabs BID but that is because there is an order.


1 Article; 143 Posts

I question the RN "supervisor" who would do something like this. How can one supervise and assure that care is given per nursing standards when she has breached the standard of care by giving a medical compound without a doctor's order? In my facility, I would be providing a written counselling to the supervisor and having her go through a medication and nursing standards of care re-educationwith the staff educator. I would also not be allowing this person to be a supervisor as she clearly does not understand the role. If it happened again, I would be reporting her to my state board following termination.

CapeCodMermaid, RN

6,089 Posts

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health. Has 30 years experience.

Baking soda is loaded with sodium and is NOT a good choice for indigestion or heart burn. I would never give it.

Specializes in ICU, CM, Geriatrics, Management. Has 17 years experience.
yes, you need an order, and probably won't get one. This is really old time tx. and can be dangerous.


BrandonLPN, LPN

3,358 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

Well, I give sodium bicarb mixed in water to several residents for reflux. Of course, our 70 year old physician is infamous for his old-timey orders. We also give spoonfuls of mineral oil for constipation. And one resident can even get aspirin PRN for headaches.

Once he ordered an aspirin dosage in "grains" (I was mystified) and he refers to me as the "duty nurse" or "nurse on duty" (I have no idea what that means)


230 Posts

Well we had to have an order to even use coca-cola on a clogged g-tube so im guessing u need an order for the bicarb