Preferred Medical

The Different Types Of IV Sets And Their Uses

There are a wide variety of IV sets and uses for these IV sets. IV Administration sets are designed to optimize infusion delivery, reduce the risk of infection for the patient, and to keep access sites clean and protected.

Let’s take a look at a few of the different kinds of IV sets and what they’re used for.

Different Kinds of IV Sets

While IV sets are all used for similar reasons, there are a variety of different types of IV sets available depending on the specific therapeutic need.

Filtered IV Sets

Filtered IV sets have a small micron filter inside of them that is used to remove any potential contaminants from IV products. The filtration protects the patient that is receiving the infusion by filtering out any particulate matter, bacteria, or air emboli in the medication or solution.

It also protects the patient from phlebitis that can be caused by particulates or bacteria in the medication. Filtered IV sets are used with a wide variety of medications and the filters are available in a number of sizes. Filter sizes get as small as .22 micron for filtering out bacteria up to a 5-micron filter that filters larger particles.

Vented IV Sets

Vented IV sets, also known as vented IV tubing, are ideal for hard plastic or glass containers. Vented IV sets have a small vent that can be opened and closed to allow for air to enter and displace the fluid as it leaves. The fluid will not flow from a rigid IV container unless it is vented.

 Non-Vented IV Sets

Non-vented IV sets are just the opposite of vented IV sets - they don’t have any vents in the tubing. Non-vented IV sets work great with flexible plastic containers like the Homepump Eclipse or MEDI-FLO® elastomeric pumps.

Non-vented tubing must also be primed to rid the tube of air. Non-vented tubing allows a vacuum to be created within the plastic IV bag so that it can collapse as it is emptied.

Gravity Tubing

Gravity tubing, or gravity administration sets, rely on gravity and flow rate regulators to infuse medicine into patients. Gravity infusion rates can be set in drops per minute, which will equate to the milliliter per hour infusion rate.

One example of gravity tubing is our dial-a-flow tubing. With gravity infusion, the bag is hung on a pole above the patient, and gravity creates the pressure required to deliver the medication.

What Are IV Sets Used For?

To start, let's define what IV stands for - intravenous therapy. IV sets are used for the controlled infusion of medications, typically over long periods of time. IV sets are used to connect the medication to the needle inserted into the patient. IV extension sets are also used to extend IV lines without risk of contamination.

How fast and slow can an IV drip be set to flow?

When using IV administration sets you can adjust the flow rate to be faster or slower depending on the medication you are infusing and the prescription orders. If you are using a mechanical pump like the Freedom 60 syringe pump, you can set more rapid infusion rates with extreme precision. With gravity pumps, roller clamps are the parts of the IV set that control the flow rate.

This infusion device is capable of maintaining a constant 13.5 psi of pressure and uses precision restrictive tubing. It also has failsafe mechanisms built into it, for example, differential pressure reduction.

In the situation that there is an increase in pressure at an infusion site, the flow rate will decrease in proportion to the increase. This allows for much more confidence and precision when delivering more rapid infusions.

If you are using a manual flow regulator like Dial-A-Flow tubing you will have the ability to set a range of flow rates, but the rates will be in increments of 25 of 50ml per hour drip-rate. IV flow regulators are also available in drip rates of anywhere from 0ml per hour to 500 ml per hour.

While somewhat less precise than mechanical pumps, manual flow regulators are significantly lower in cost which makes them great for everyday infusion needs.

How does the height of the IV bag affect the infusion rate?

When it comes to gravity infusion, the height of the bag directly impacts the amount of pressure being put on to the fluid in the line. When greater pressure is put on the line, the fluid may be infused more quickly.

The infusion rate can also be impacted by the position of the patient. When a patient is lying down and then sits up, the infusion rate could potentially slow down. This is why you’ll see nurses periodically checking on IV’s using gravity infusion.

What is the difference between a micro drip and a macro drip?

At a very basic level, micro drip tubing is used for people who are receiving smaller amounts of IV medication. Macro drip tubing is much larger, so is better for delivering larger doses of fluid.

Micro drip tubing typically delivers 60 gtt/mL which means it would deliver 1 milliliter in 60 drops. This makes it ideal when dealing with more precise drip rates. Micro drip tubing is typically used for medications that require greater care.

Macro drip tubing can deliver between 10 gtt/mL and 15 gtt/mL. This means it can take as few as 10 drips to infuse one milliliter. This type of tubing is used when rapidly infusing large amounts of fluid such as saline solution.

Common Uses for IV Sets

IV administration sets have a number of common uses in medical settings for the infusion of medication or fluids into a patient. IV sets can be used to infuse life-saving medications like antibiotics, infectious disease infusion or even for blood transfusions.

IV Sets are also used in the administration of chemotherapy and other long-duration infusions. IV sets are also home infusion settings and for a variety of therapies like vitamin infusion therapy.

Buying IV Sets

If you’re looking to buy IV sets for your hospital, doctor's office, pharmacy, or medical center, you’ve come to the right place. Preferred Medical is a national distributor of infusion supplies and other premium medical supplies.

Our customer service representatives are standing by to answer your questions Contact us today toll-free at 800.722.7865. We look forward to hearing from you!