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Preparing and Administering Intermittent Intravenous Medications with an Infusion Pump

Preparing and Administering Intermittent Intravenous Medications with an Infusion Pump



Using pumps to administer intravenous medication as intermittent infusions has become a standard practice for delivering drugs over a specific period of time at varying intervals. The infusion pump delivers the medication in a volume-controlled manner, keeping the medication side effects to a minimum, and assists to prevent any medication errors. This pump can be used to deliver primary infusions, which are high-volume IV medications. At times, secondary infusions can be piggybacked over primary infusions attached to pumps.

Here, we will solely focus on preparing and administering primary infusions and cover secondary infusions in the next video in this series.

Before manipulating and setting up the IV, a nurse needs to perform a few preparatory steps. The first step upon entering a patient's room is to use standard precautions by using hand sanitizer, or washing your hands vigorously for 20 seconds with soap and warm water.

Next, review the medication procedure with the patient and address any questions the patient may have. At the bedside computer, review the patient's electronic medical record. Be sure to review the patient's history, allergies, and admitting diagnosis before looking at the Medication Administration Record, or MAR. While reviewing the MAR, be sure to validate the type of medication to be administered, as well as the rate and amount. It is important to check compatibility of fluids with any IV medications that are being administered simultaneously. For example, dobutamine, a drug used in the treatment of heart failure, is incompatible with potassium chloride IV fluid.

Leave the patient's room to gather the supplies and medications as needed and wash your hands upon exiting, as previously described. In the medication preparation area, acquire the ordered IV infusion medication and perform the first safety check by adhering to the five "rights" of safe medication administration: right patient, right medication, right dose, right route, and right time. Lastly, obtain the IV tubing.

After obtaining the necessary supplies, the next step is priming the IV tubing. Open the IV tubing package and slide the roller clamp toward the narrow end before placing it on the counter. Next, pick up the IV infusion medication bag. Remove the pigtail that covers the IV infusion medication bag port and discard. It is important not to contaminate the bag's opening during this process.

Now, pick up the IV tubing. Using tip of your thumb and index finger, carefully slide the protective cover off the IV tubing spike and discard it in a trash receptacle. It is important to avoid contaminating the tubing spike during this process. Next, insert the spike into the IV infusion medication bag port with a gentle twisting motion. While holding the IV medication bag near eye-level, gently squeeze the drip chamber until it is 1/3 to ½ full with the IV infusion medication fluid.

To prime the tubing, slightly open the rolling clamp until fluid begins to flow. This allows the medication fluid to flow through the tubing and ensures that all the air is released without loss of medication. When the fluid has reached the end of the tubing, stop the flow by moving the roller clamp toward the narrow end.

After the medication is prepared, complete the second medication safety check using the 5 "rights" of medication administration. We are now ready for the administration of the medication to the patient. However, before entering the room, retrieve a 10-mL normal saline flush and alcohol wipes in addition to the IV medication and IV tubing.

After entering the patient's room, set aside equipment and supplies and wash hands, as described earlier. Complete the third and final medication safety check, adhering to the 5 "rights" of medication administration.

Next, locate the needleless injection port on the peripheral IV and clean it with an alcohol prep pad. Then flush and assess the IV site by attaching a normal saline syringe to the IV port; slowly pushing the fluid; and monitoring for swelling, redness, or leaking at the insertion site. This process has been described in detail in another video of this collection. Once patency has been established, you can disconnect the syringe and discard the flush.

If you need an additional module, then hold it next to the left or right side of the IV pump and align the connection by gently tipping the module top up and toward the IV pump brain. Then push the bottom of the module down and toward the pump until it clicks into place.

Next, hang the IV medication from one of the hooks at the top of the pole and open the module lever to open the door. Load the IV tubing into the module by placing the upper fitment into the top groove. Then slide the safety clamp into its compartment near the bottom and close the door by pushing down on the lever until it locks shut.

Next, locate the peripheral IV needleless injection port and clean the site with an alcohol wipe for 15 seconds. Then, remove the cap from the end of the tubing of the IV infusion medication. Now, while maintaining sterility, attach the IV infusion medication tubing to the injection site by pushing it gently and turning the outer portion of the connection port clockwise. Ensure that the needleless hub and end of the IV tubing do not touch anything but one another in the process.

For programming the pump, push the "channel select" button on the module and choose "basic infusion" from the menu. Program the infusion rate (mL/h) according the IV infusion medication order. Slide the IV infusion clamp to the larger end and select "start" to begin the infusion.

Assess the patient's IV site for any swelling or leaking and ask the patient if they are experiencing any pain as the IV medication is infusing. Lastly, document the IV infusion medication in the patient's MAR, including documentation for the time, date, location, and amount of medication that is being administered. Upon completion, leave the patient's room and wash your hands.

"An important step in the IV medication administration process is to ensure all attachment points remain sterile when connecting the tubing to the bag of fluids and when the tubing is connected to the needleless hub."

"Another important step is, when priming the line, ensure that all air bubbles are removed from the tubing, as this will cause the pump to stop working and beep until addressed by the nurse."

"Common errors associated with this procedure include failing to verify compatibility of the maintenance IV fluid with the medication, if applicable; administering the medication at the incorrect rate for the medication concentration or patient condition; and failing to assess the patient for medication reactions."

You've just watched JoVE's introduction to preparing and administering a primary intermittent intravenous medication infusion with an infusion pump. You should now understand the supplies needed and the process of using and programming the pump. As always, thanks for watching!

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