Scalp IV's

  1. This might seem like an odd question, but I am curious. How often do you find that you are having to place newborn IV's in the scalp vs. foot or other location?
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    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 3


  3. by   Mimi2RN
    It's not unusual to use the scalp on babies, if you have tried other sites and can't get it. Also, it's sometimes kinder to use a good scalp vein instead of multiple attempts in the extremeties.
  4. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    And sometimes they're much easier to get than on the limbs... you can see them really well!
  5. by   vaughanmk
    I personally like scalp veins, especially when I've already tried another site without luck. Where I work it is not that common for us to use the scalp though.
  6. by   vamedic4
    I personally don't go for scalp veins, I can usually get one on any extremity within 2 sticks. As others have posted, however, they are easily visible in many babies and can be excellent sites!!

    It's just a big "ugh" factor for me..scalp veins, that is.

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  7. by   danissa
    always a rotten place to site, and very traumatic for parents! Always looks much more dramatic and horrible with hair shaved off, and makes it harder for parents to handle or hold the babe! If needs must though, but only as a last resort!!
  8. by   perfectbluebuildings
    Some scalp IVs work really really well, and parents don't mind as long as they work- they seem to look a LOT more dramatic when they do infiltrate, though- over a matter of a few minutes- than do ones in the limbs, and that scares a lot of parents.
  9. by   lisabeth
    Yes, I thought I would absolutly kill someone when I saw the IV in my daughter's head. They had the nerve to call it a party hat. I know it was necessary, but I sure didnt then. that poor She was so nice and made me feel better, but then I just wanted to cry.

    Quote from danissa
    always a rotten place to site, and very traumatic for parents! Always looks much more dramatic and horrible with hair shaved off, and makes it harder for parents to handle or hold the babe! If needs must though, but only as a last resort!!
  10. by   Mimi2RN
    It's not usually necessary to shave a lot of hair when you place a scalp IV. We use Veniguards with the wings trimmed, and Blenderm tape (we call it scalp tape). If you use a little baby oil when you remove the dressing, you won't have a problem with hair coming out, or having to cut any more off.
  11. by   scribblerpnp
    I agree that scalp IV's do look scary esp when they infiltrate. But I like them. I think it makes things easier for the kid. It's out of the way and they have their hands free. Though I have no research to back me up, to me it seems like a good scalp vein lasts longer too. Also, how would you feel if you had your arm taped to a board and couldn't bend it? I think it makes it easier to handle the kids, they can play or walk without any tubing in their way, and it makes it more difficult for them to it pull out.

    The hair thing can be a downer, but I've never had to cut hair to place a scalp IV and baby oil works wonders to take tape off.

    Yeah, parents do freak out, but I try to get them to look at the positive side of having a scalp vs extremity IV. But in the younger age group, definately less than 50% of my IV's are scalp, so it isn't like I'm pushing the issue.
  12. by   kelliec
    We do not use many scalp IVs on our peds floor, often adequate access is obtained in one or two peripheral sticks. ACs are great on peds and if not walking yet the saph. vein is also a good option. We make a nice cover for the site, so it's not such a temptation to play with. The times that we do use scalp veins are emergent ones in which quick access is needed or if long term iv abx treatment is going to be needed. If the iv is just needed for hydration, our docs usually will order a feeding tube to be dropped if iv access cannot be obtained. This sounds horrible too, but the parents often request the feeding tube if offered the choice between it and a scalp iv. Personally, I like scalp IVs, the ones I have dealt with were good sites and lasted the entire hospital stay and I don't think that they caused anymore emotional or physical trauma to the patient than any other IV or invasive procedure.
  13. by   anrn1995
    I always was able to get in an extremity. My favorite was the saphenous. It seemed to stay the longest.
  14. by   Yin Yang
    My daughter got rotavirus when she was 2 months old (she was a 35 weeker, so a little small). The girls doing the IVs were collapsing every vein they stuck, and I asked them to just aim for the big honking vein on her scalp (I was a veterinary technician in critical care for 11 years and we went anywhere we could find including the jugular). They looked at me like I was a nutcase! She is 6 now and you can still see the scarred, collapsed veins through her skin on her hands and arms. I'd have given anything thing for them to just go for the obvious vein and quit traumatizing her with multiple sticks (I think it took 3 nurses and about 8 sticks before they got her).