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MarvelousMistyRN MarvelousMistyRN (New Member) New Member

IV Drip Rates

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Hey ya'll. I have a very random question. I always always taught that if you have an IV drip set to less than 10ml an hour that you need a carrier for it so that it will get to the patient. I just started my first travel nurse job and this unit does not believe in that. They will run an insulin drip at 2ml an hour to a line by itself. Wondering what everyone else does? I've only ever worked at one facility since I was a new grad so what I was doing is all I know!

thanks!

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We run everything with a control bag, and it's written in our policy as such.

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I've noticed this is different in the various facilities I've worked at also. What constitutes KVO is quite different from facility to facility and I've seen everything from 5 ml/hr to 15 ml/hr considered KVO. I'm curious what the consensus here is.

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I've noticed this is different in the various facilities I've worked at also. What constitutes KVO is quite different from facility to facility and I've seen everything from 5 ml/hr to 15 ml/hr considered KVO. I'm curious what the consensus here is.

Ours is 20 mL/hr.

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But, why would it not get to the patient if the line is primed?

An insulin drip is the only thing I've ever seen run that slowly, but if the line is primed to the end with the insulin, it should be getting to the patient.

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We run NS at 10ml/hr with say a PCA pump so that can carry in the medication as it is not a continuous drip.

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only issue I see with that is the catheter might clot off with such a slow rate.  I think a carrier would be preferable just to maintain patency. 

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So interesting. We don't run anything with a carrier fluid (in the NICU btw). 1.2 mLs of medication over an hour? Fine. Everything gets into the baby just fine. You aren't administering the meds faster with a carrier, just diluted with more volume. We usually don't have issues with clotting off lines unless the total infused is less than 0.5 ml/hr or so but a bigger catheter may need more of a rate. We prime the tubing with the medication so as soon as the pump starts, it is delivering the medication.

Edited by NICUmiiki

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Ours is 20ml/hr, but we can run insulin/heparin gtts by themselves

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It will eventually get to the patient.  The problem comes with things like Levophed or Vasopressin that are only running at a few mls/hr and you are just starting them.  When you first start them you want it to start working immediately and if you have to wait for it to get there at 5ml/hr it would take too long so you run it with a carrier at a higher rate.  The elephant in the room to me though is how everyone wants to run insulin in a separate line.

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I have ran insulin alone if I have a lumen I can dedicate to it. Generally with DKA I never have that opportunity so I will run whatever is compatible y-port to my insulin so that it is chasing it and keeping the line patent. I don't believe I have specifically ran a KVO due to the low infusion rate.

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