IV Care: Clean Setup

Closeup of hands in sink with running water. Hands are covered with soap suds.

An IV catheter can send medicines or fluids through your body. But it can also make it easier for germs to enter your system. To reduce the risk of infection, use clean technique. Always follow these steps.

Step 1. Gather supplies

? Alcohol wipes

? Dressing tape

? Sterile gloves

? Saline or heparin

? Sharps box

? Syringes

? IV medicine or fluid

? Tubing and clamps

? A dressing change kit

? Other: __________________________

Step 2. Check supplies

  • Read the medicine sheet. Check the label on the IV bag. Make sure the patient name, medicine name, and dose are all correct.

  • Be sure all IV supplies are in sealed packets. If they are not, don’t use them.

  • Do not use medicine with an expired date or medicine that has particles in it.

  • Do not use an IV bag with cracks or tears.

Step 3. Prepare your worksite

You can work at a counter or table. Choose any flat space where you feel at ease:

  • Close windows and turn off fans. This helps reduce dust and dirt in the air.

  • Clean the worksite before you set up. Wipe the surface. Use alcohol or soap and water. Lay a clean towel or cloth over your worksite.

Step 4. Wash your hands

You can fight infection by washing your hands:

  • Wash with warm water and liquid soap. Scrub for 1 minute. Wash between your fingers. Rinse well.

  • Dry your hands with a fresh paper towel. Use the paper towel to turn off the water. Set the towel aside. You can throw it away later. Now, run the IV or take care of the catheter.

Step 5. Dispose of waste last

Clean up after you are done running the IV or dressing the catheter:

  • Place syringes and needles in a sharps box.

  • Put all other used IV supplies in a plastic bag. Seal the bag and throw it in the trash. Throw away used paper towels and wrappers.