IV Catheter Maintenance

IV Catheter Maintenance

Routine maintenance of an IV site includes regular assessment of the site and periodic changes of the dressing, along with solution changes, and regular tubing changes, which help prevent complications, such as thrombophlebitis and infection. They should be performed according to your facility’s policy.

Routine site care and IV dressing changes aren’t recommended for short peripheral IV catheters unless the dressing becomes soiled or damp or is no longer intact.1,2 Dressings are also changed when the device is changed; the IV catheter should be changed when clinically indicated by the patient’s condition, integrity of the vein
and skin, length and type of prescribed therapy, integrity and patency of the existing catheter, and the patient’s care location.2 Peripheral IV catheters should be replaced no more frequently than every 72 to 96 hours to reduce the risk for infection and phlebitis in adults;1 follow your facility’s policy for IV maintenance. If an IV catheter is inserted during an emergency, it should be replaced as soon as possible, within 48 hours.2

The IV administration set should be changed no more frequently than every 96 hours, although it should be changed immediately upon suspected contamination, when the integrity of the product or system has been compromised, or whenever the peripheral IV site is rotated.1,3

Another aspect of IV catheter maintenance, ensuring an accurate flow rate helps prevent complications. Calculated from a doctor’s order, flow rate is usually expressed as the total volume of IV solution infused over a prescribed interval or as the total volume given in milliliters per hour. Many devices can regulate the flow of IV solution, including clamps, the flow regulator (or rate minder), and the volumetric pump. With any device, flow rate can be easily monitored by using a time tape, which indicates the prescribed solution level at hourly intervals. IV time tapes are rarely used in acute care settings, but may be found in long-term or subacute care settings.

Preparation of Equipment

If your facility keeps IV equipment and dressings in a tray or cart, have it nearby, if possible, because you may have to select a new venipuncture site, depending on the current site’s condition.

When possible, change the solution and tubing at the same time to decrease the risk of contamination.3

If you’re changing both the solution and the tubing, attach and prime the IV administration set, including add-on devices, before entering the patient’s room.

Jul 21, 2016 | Posted by in NURSING | Comments Off on IV Catheter Maintenance

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