The first step in the process of initiating IV fluid therapy is to assemble and check the equipment you need (see Figure 22.1). You can place everything on a very clean large dish or locally available tray. We will describe the equipment in detail after you have looked at Figure 22.1.
- Sterile IV fluid in a plastic bag; the main types are called Normal Saline (NS) and Ringer's Lactate (RS) solution.
- Sterile IV tubing (sometimes called an IV line) with a connector at one end to join it to the IV fluid bag, and a connector at the other end to join it to the cannula. It comes sealed in a sterile plastic package (not shown in Figure 22.1).
- Sterile IV cannula. It comes sealed in a sterile plastic package (not shown in Figure 22.1). There is a larger diagram later in this study session (Figure 22.6).
- Roller clamp, which you attach to the IV tubing and tighten or loosen to control the flow of fluid along the tube.
- Bottle of alcohol to use with the cotton swabs (9) to clean the area of skin where the cannula is inserted; if alcohol is not available you can use soap and water.
- Sterile surgical gloves in a sealed bag. If you open the bag carefully (as shown in Figure 22.1), you can lay the sterile paper on the tray with the inside facing upwards, and use the paper as a sterile surface. If you do not have sterile gloves, you should use very clean gloves swabbed with alcohol or scrubbed with soap and water.
- A belt or rope, or a piece of cloth or bandage, to use as a tourniquet (Tourniquet is pronounced 'torn-ee-kay')– something you tie around the person's arm to obstruct the flow of blood for a short time while you insert the needle at the end of the cannula into a vein.
- A plaster to stick over the cannula when it is in the person's arm to keep it securely in place. If you do not have a plaster you may use a clean bandage or locally available material, e.g. a piece of clean cloth.
- Cotton swabs or small pieces of very clean cloth, to use with the alcohol for cleaning the person's skin before you insert the cannula.