IV Administration and Setting Up

Intravenous therapy (IV) is the flow of fluids directly into the veins of a patient.

This is usually via a cannula.

aofas cannula

There are various reasons for setting up an IV, such as replacement of electrolytes, restoration of blood volume or maintenance in the surgery-staved patient.

Intravenous (IV) therapy is also an option for the administration of drugs for fast action, compared to other more slower routes, because the medication is delivered directly into the circulation system.

Fluid Bag

aofas iv fluid bag

Before setting up an IV, it is crucial to check the fluid bag because there are various types of fluid and, all bags  have very similar appearence and labelling.

  • Type of fluid
  • Expiry date of fluid
  • Port for injection
  • Port for insertion of giving spike


Record the type of fluid, volume, and time of IV. Ensure to check for any allergies

If the patient is conscious, explain the procedure to the patient, ensuring you gain their consent. Check the integrity of fluid bag as well as for any cloudiness or particulate matter present. needless to sat that you should not use the bag if there are any impurities present.

Remove the outer packing of the bag and hang it up on a drip stand or ask someone to hold it high.

Open the giving set and close the flow control using the roller-ball clamp on the line.

Remove the cover from the port on the bag by twisting and breaking it off.

WITHOUT TOUCHING THE END  insert the spike into the port.

Half fill the filling chamber by squeezing it, then release the roller ball clamp so that  the fluid runs through the giving set.

Ensure there are no bubbles are in the line and then clamp off the roller ball.

Clean the hub of the bionector with a CHG wipe, then flush the cannula with saline.

Attach the giving set to the bionector. Set the infusion rate by adjusting the roller ball.

Calculating the Drip Rate

The drip rate is the number of drops of fluid that enter the filling chamber each minute.

The drip rate is only ever set manually to determine the speed at which the fluid is to be infused into the patient’s vein. It is calculated as follows:

First calculate the ml/hr required:

  • E.g. 1 litre bag of normal saline to be given over 8 hours = 1000ml/8hrs = 125ml/hr

Then calculate the ml/min required:

  • E.g. 125ml/hr = 125ml/60mins = 2ml/min

For a standard giving set, 20 drops in 1ml. Therefore, you can calculate the number of drops per minute:

  • E.g. 2mls/min = 40 drops/min