Be Aware of the Temperature of the Room
Room temperature can greatly affect blood flow and vein size. The colder the temperature, the further from the surface your veins reside.
* Raise room temperature before blood draws, insertion of IV’s and during the IV dispensing to achieve optimal vein size and blood flow; ultimately making IV drip less painful.
Control The Drip Speed
Each type of medication and mL of fluids have different suggested drip times. These are suggested and do not apply to everyone. The smaller and deeper (further from the surface) the veins, the slower the drip will be set to avoid pain or a burning sensation. Faster drips can be tolerated by larger veins that are closer to the surface.
* Use the roller (located on your IV drip line) to control the drip speed for your comfort level. When in doubt, call a nurse.
Roller on IV
Don’t Forget You Are Stuck! – Hope you are comfy in what you are wearing…because you are stuck in those clothes for awhile. Loose fitting clothing is best so blood flow is not restricted. If you are frequently cold, bring a blanket or shawl to cover you since you won’t be able to put on or take off a sweater.
*Tip for the ladies: Don’t wear jumpers and chose a comfy bra you won’t need to take off
There Are Multiple Locations For IVs On Your Body
Most nurses usually start looking for viable veins on the inside of the forearm. However, successful IV drips don’t necessarily use the largest vein, but rather the one with the least obstruction in blood flow. Once all viable veins have been used most nurses will begin looking on the neck and chest area.
* Try an infant IV port on top of your wrist bone before utilizing the neck area. Movement is very restrictive with this type of IV, but it is less invasive.
Slow Moving Drip???? Try Using A Heating Pad
Wrapping your arm in a heating pad will bring veins to the surface, increase blood flow and ultimately assist an effective drip speed.
*Constant low heat seems to work and keep the patient more comfortable than high level heat.
Pull Your Fingers
If your IV is located near your wrist and the drip has slowed or stopped, try pulling your finger straight and away from your arm. This will help blood flow move unobstructed from the wrist area upwards.
Swelling And Burning of IVs
When a burning sensation is felt an inch or so from the IV point, a vein may have been punctured. You will feel a burning sensation because the fluid is now being pumped into your arm instead of a specific vein, usually causing swelling and bruising.
*Call the nurse immediately so a new port can be inserted correctly in a new vein
Don’t Forget To Flush
If the IV has stopped dripping a simple flush may unclog the fluid. This is only done by the nurse.