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Continuous or intermittent - what do you call it?

INS standards state that primary administration sets should coincide with peripheral catheter change and with initiation of a new container of solution. 

If an IV was started a few hours ago, needed to be IV restarted, would you call the tubing intermittent because it had been disconnected and change in 24 hours or would you continue to maintain the tubing for 72 from the original hang time?

For a peripheral catheter, I

For a peripheral catheter, I think that the dates on the catheter and tubing should be the same change interval. This reduces catheter manipulation. For your scenario, I would probably change only the extension set (I would always use an extension set on every PIV) and leave the rest of the tubing if it had only been in use for a very short period. I would continue to use this for the allotted time of 72 hours. Intermittent tubing means frequent connection and disconnection for med administration. However, if continuous tubing is being disconnected frequently to allow for ambulation, showering, etc, this is now intermittent tubing in my opinion. However I would not write policies that allowed for this frequent disconnection and would train nurses not to do this. 


Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., NPD-BC, CRNI

Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.

PO Box 10

Milner, GA 30257


Office Phone 770-358-7861

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