How to prime IV tubing line (primary infusion) and how to spike a IV bag for nursing. The purpose of spiking an IV bag and priming IV tubing is to administer IV therapy to a patient by allowing the fluid from the bag to transfuse into the patient's blood stream. As the nurse, you will be doing this several times per day. It is standard nursing care because during a patient's hospitalization they will at some point receive IV fluids, medications, blood products, or fat emulsions.
What does spiking the IV bag mean? It means you will be penetrating the IV bag with the spike of the IV tubing so the contents in the bag can flow into the IV tubing and then into the patient's blood.
What does priming the IV tubing mean? It means you will be allowing the solution in the bag to flow through the tubing to remove any air in the line. It is very important to remove any air or bubbles from the tubing before infusion so an air embolism can be avoided.
When you perform this nursing skill, it is important to remember to label the IV tubing when the IV therapy was initiated, because it expires. The CDC recommends changing IV tubing that is used continuously and not used for blood, blood products, or fat emulsion (TPN, Lipids) every 96 hours. It is very important to follow your hospital's protocol which are based on the CDC's recommendations. Some hospital require you change IV tubing every 72 hours. In addition, if the IV tubing is used for the administration of blood, blood products, or fat emulsions it should be changed every 24 hours. Again, follow your hospital's protocols.
Don't forget to check out my video on how to start an IV.
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