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To Cover or Not to Cover the IV Cap?

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by Sweetie2005 Sweetie2005 (New) New

Specializes in ICU, Cardiac, Psychiatric. Has 5 years experience.

Just wondering what other nurses out there do when a patient has a IV cap and hops in the shower? We have an aqua-guard plastic that can be taped on the site. I was told during training though that an IV cap doesn't need to be covered for a shower, since they are not soaking the site in the tub or for long periods of time.. Our IV start kits have an op-site type dressing that covers the IV at all times that looks to be waterproof. If I don't cover the site, I tell the patient it may get it wet, but not to saturate the site. When I'm worried that it may be yanked out, I do cover it. Just wanting some other opinions! Thanks

Covering the site with a plasic baggie while in the shower works also. Not high tech or sophisticated ,but it works to keep site dry.

P_RN, ADN, RN

Specializes in ORTHOPAEDICS-CERTIFIED SINCE 89. Has 30 years experience.

glove with the fingers and hand cut off works for me. Can you imagine the gore if an INT pulled out in a tub full of water?

Opsite still gets wet - it is water-resistant, not water-proof. . . we use the garbage bag method.

I'd cover it.

steph

GooeyRN, ADN, BSN, CNA, LPN, RN

Specializes in Psych, Med/Surg, LTC. Has 21 years experience.

We use either a glove or an empty bread bag to tape around the arm.

Sweetie2005

Specializes in ICU, Cardiac, Psychiatric. Has 5 years experience.

I figured most people covered the sites, I'm just wondering is it horribly inappropriate if it isn't covered???:confused: Like when a patient has a hand iv and wash their hands, it muct get wet then as well.

noreenl

Specializes in school RN, CNA Instructor, M/S.

Thats exactly why I try to never use the hands as an IV site, especially the primary hand. Food and bathroom issues are avoided that way!

RN., MSN, RN

Specializes in Perianesthesia. Has 30 years experience.

Water makes a perfect medium to transport microbes towards the IV puncture site. The outer part of the opsite/tegaderm can be dried, but after a shower/bath, the puncture site remains moist. Microbes LOVE warm, moist environments. A peripheral IV stick doesn't have enough time to heal at the puncture site before it's out-dated and needs to be changed, therefore, it's very vulnerable to bacterial invasion and infection. Since the IV cannula is traveling towards, and winds up in the lumen of the vein, that's where the bugs are going to be headed.

Cover your IV sites and keep them from getting wet.

The cap to the IV should be covered as well in light of the same principles that warrant covering the IV dressing. Water makes an excellent medium to transport microbes to the rim of the cap. Remove the cap while there's still a water-microbe bath waiting to contaminate the site and you're still asking for more bugs to be there than you'd probably like. An alcohol wipe does not exclude the need for the nurse to provide as aseptic environment as possible to prevent CBI's.

Cover your IV caps and keep them from getting wet.

MedicineCNS

Specializes in Medicine, Surgery, Critical Care. Has 6 years experience.

I figured most people covered the sites, I'm just wondering is it horribly inappropriate if it isn't covered???:confused: Like when a patient has a hand iv and wash their hands, it muct get wet then as well.

::Shiver:: its kind of like washing your hands with out soap and spreading all the bacteria around potentially around the opsite.