Parenteral Gravity Drip
Penn Home Infusion Team
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: November 1, 2001
The flow of intravenous fluids is regulated by a roller clamp that is attached to the IV tubing. When the roller clamp is open fluids can infuse into the body at a rapid rate. As you close the roller clamp, the fluid will infuse at a slower rate.
You will need the following supplies:
- ___ bag(s) of _________ (fluid to be infused)
- 1 microdrip tubing
- 1 30" extension tubing
Setting Up Your Tubing
- Wash your hands (see Handwashing section for more information).
- Remove the microdrip tubing from the package. Straighten out the tubing.
- Close the roller clamp.
- Remove the 30" extension tubing from its package. Attach the 30" extension tubing to the end of the microdrib tubing.
- Remove the rubber stopper from the IV bag.
- Remove the cover from the spike of the microdrip tubing.
DO NOT TOUCH THE END OF THE SPIKE.
- Insert the spike into the IV bag.
- Hang the IV bag from a pole.
- Squeeze the drip chanber and release until fluid half fills the drip chamber.
- Open the roller clamp. Allow the fluid from the bag to fill the entire IV tubing. Be certain that there are no air bubbles in the tubing.
- Attach the IV tubing to your intravenous catheter.
- Using a watch with a second hand, count the number of drops for one minute. Adjust the roller clamp so that ___ drops a minute infuse.
- Place a strip of tape next to the numbers of the IV bag.
- With a pen, mark the time of where the fluid should be after each hour.
- Observe the fluid level frequently and adjust the flow with the roller clamp as needed to be sure the fluid level is at the right time.
- For example, if the fluid is going in too fast, close the roller clamp slightly so that it will flow in at a slower rate.
- When the fluid level in the IV is almost at the end, close the roller clamp.
- If no further fluid is to be given, follow the instructions for capping, flushing, or deaccessing the catheter. (See Capping, Flushing, and Deaccessing sections of this manual for more information).
- If you are to infuse another bag of IV fluid, remove the rubber stopper from the new IV bag.
- Remove the old bag from the tubing and insert the spike of the tubing into the new bag.
- Follow steps #1 and #2 under care during infusion.
- If you receive fluids continuously 24 hours a day, the tubing must be changed every 48 hours.
- a. Follow steps 1 through 10 under the Setting Up Your Tubing heading in this section.
- b. Clamp the intravenous catheter. Disconnect the old IV tubing.
- c. Connect new IV fluid and tubing to the intravenous catheter. Proceed with instructions under Care During Infusion heading in this section.
- d. Remember: Don't touch the tip of your catheter or the tip of your IV tubing!