priming IV tubing tips?


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Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

i've been an iv therapist for years. this is what i do. when i take the iv tubing out of it's package i use the last three fingers of my hand to pull the tubing just below the drip chamber to the side and up which in effect crimps, or pinches, it off and hold it in that position while spiking the iv bag. squeeze the sides of the drip chamber to fill the chamber at least half full. then release the crimp (pinch) on the iv tubing and let 'er run. while it's doing that i can unwind the tubing and play around with the roller clamp. to stop iv fluid from coming out of the end of the tubing just raise the tubing above the fluid level (this is a principle of physics) as fluid will not flow against atmospheric pressure. if you want to get air out of the y-connections, turn them upside down and tap them as fluid is flowing by them and the air will flow out.

Specializes in midwifery, NICU. Has 12 years experience.

Agree with folks here, go slowly and it reduces the air bubbles. "Ping" your ports, will make the air rise with the fluid. Hang the bag once its spiked.

I read a post further back about flushing fluids through over a garbage bin, why would you go near a source of infection with an iv line thats going to be connected to a patient?? Use a gallipot to collect your fluid as it runs through, on a clean field on a trolley, its far easier.


369 Posts

Specializes in surgical, emergency. Has 40 years experience.

My one suggestion is like Daytonite's, take the tubing as it comes out of the drip chamber and fold it up against the drip chamber. Then pinch the drip chamber fillinging it about half full. Many have a line marked on the chamber for the correct amount of fluid.

Then let it go, un-roll the roller clamp slowly to allow the rest of the tubing to fill.

The ports, turning upside down probably would work, I'd flick them with my finger as the fluid goes by.

Run the fluid, washing out any remainin bubbles, into the sink or trash can.

Or a nearby co-workers' lower leg if possible. With good aim, they may not know they've been hit, until they start walking and their cold/wet pants leg hits them.

That way you are not at the scene of the crime!

Hey, what the heck! :>


Specializes in Gyn Onc, OB, L&D, HH/Hospice/Palliative.

BTW, you can also hang a BRAND NEW IV bag on the pole/hook and rip off the rubber stopper on the bottom BEFORE spiking it, it will not leak as the seal hasn't been broken yet-- this can be useful as now you have 2 hands to fiddle with the tubing--- note: DONT pull it out once spiked, you'll get drenched--Good Luck !!

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