IV Spike Prime Time

  1. Hello everyone!!
    This is my first time using the boards so I hope I am successful. I have to perform IV Spike Prime and Time on Monday afternoon in school. I am a little confused on counting the drip rate. Do I connect the primary line to the saline lock before I count the drips or after?

    Thanks!!
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    About liser79

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 44; Likes: 6

    8 Comments

  3. by   Daytonite
    You connect the primary line to the saline lock first. Open the clamp. Then begin to count the drips and titrate the flow rate.
  4. by   liser79
    Thanks Daytonite!! This may sound stupid but aren't those drops going in to the patient then?
  5. by   AirforceRN
    Yes, you're right. The patient might get a mini bolus at first while you are trying to adjust the rate. It won't be much. Its better then dripping dollars and dollars worth of drugs into the garbage can though.
  6. by   liser79
    Thanks AirForceRN!

    Wish me luck! I have been practicing counting drips at home. Can't wait for nursing school to be over.
  7. by   Daytonite
    I was a practicing nurse for a long time before IV pumps were standard issue for all IVs. What I used to do was this. . .figure out what all the basic drip rates were in relation to the dial of my watch. If you try titrating by counting the whole rate out over a full minute it will take you forever to get the rate established. So, titrate the drop rate over 5 second increments first. When you think you've got it nailed, then go for a 30-second or full minute count to verify that you've got the drop rate correct. Move your thumb very gently on the roller clamp. Sometimes, as you get close to the rate you want, it will only take the slightest of movements. For 125 drops/ minute which was a real common order remember that is about 2 drops every second, or sweep of the second hand of my watch. 60 drops/minute is 1 drop/second. The others are a bit trickier. 100 drops/minute is 8 drops for every 5 seconds. After years I got good at counting those out. 75 drops/minute is only 6 drops per 5 seconds and only a tad faster than 60 drops/minute.

    It would have been helpful if you could have been able to bring an IV set home to practice with.
  8. by   MurseMikeD
    Wow... they didn't even teach us manual drip rates in my nursing school, I guess because pumps are so commonplace now.
  9. by   Daytonite
    Quote from MurseMikeD
    Wow... they didn't even teach us manual drip rates in my nursing school, I guess because pumps are so commonplace now.
    Maybe because I'm getting old now, but I keep waiting for the day when the electricity goes out and the emergency generator runs out of gas. Heh! Heh! Then, What will we do? 1 - 2 - 3 - 4. . .
  10. by   MurseMikeD
    Quote from Daytonite
    Maybe because I'm getting old now, but I keep waiting for the day when the electricity goes out and the emergency generator runs out of gas. Heh! Heh! Then, What will we do? 1 - 2 - 3 - 4. . .
    Haha... I'm with you there. I worked on ambulances before this so I have an inherent distrust of anything that relies on electricity or moving parts.

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