Instructions for Hanging IV Tubing

IV tubing with drip chamber correctly attached to IV fluid bag.
IV tubing with drip chamber correctly attached to IV fluid bag. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Patients often require IV therapy as part of their medical treatment. IV therapy delivers measured doses of medication or hydrating fluid directly into the patient's bloodstream. The treatment can be safely provided in a patient's home. In order for the IV to function properly, the tubing needs to be properly attached to the fluid bag and to the patient to ensure that the system delivers the correct dosage.

Things You'll Need

  • IV infusion fluid
  • IV tubing
  • IV pole
  • Alcohol pad

Hang the IV fluid bag on the IV pole. Verify the fluid’s expiration date. Unwrap the tubing from its sterile package.

Move the roller clamp to 3 to 5 inches below the drip chamber. Close the roller clamp. Remove the protective cover from the IV tubing port on the IV fluid bag. Remove the protective cover from the IV tubing spike. If the spike falls on the ground or touches anything, discard it and obtain a new one.

Insert the tubing spike into the IV port on the fluid bag. Squeeze the drip chamber until it is filled with IV solution. Prime the tubing by opening the clamp to allow fluid to drain through the tubing. Close the clamp. Examine the tubing to ensure that no air bubbles are present. If there are air bubbles, tap the tubing where the bubbles are located until none remain.

Remove the IV tubing protective cap. Clean the IV access to the patient with an alcohol pad. Attach the tubing to the patient. Open the roller clamp to the appropriate rate and watch the drip chamber to ensure there is adequate flow.

Tips & Warnings

  • IV tubing needs to be replaced every 72 hours.
  • IV fluids need to be replaced every 24 hours.
  • Record the date and time when changing fluid bags and tubing to help manage tubing and fluid replacement.
  • Monitor patients for overhydration, especially those with heart or kidney disease.
  • You need a doctor's order to initiate IV therapy.

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  • "Clinical Nursing Skills and Techniques, seventh edition"; Anne Griffin Perry, RN, et al.; 2006
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