22.1.3 Sterile techniques for IV fluid therapy
When you prepare to give a person IV fluid therapy you have to keep everything clean and use sterile techniques (free from germ contamination) as much as possible. This may be difficult in a rural home, but you can reduce the risk of infection if you follow the instructions in Box 22.1.
Box 22.1 Preventing infection during IV fluid therapy
- The most important precaution is to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and clean water for at least two minutes before and after you handle patients or sterile equipment.
- Use alcohol to clean the tray or dish for your equipment, or (if not available) use soap and water and make sure it is thoroughly air-dried before using it.
- Put on sterile or very clean gloves. You must wear gloves all the time because you will be coming in contact with the patient’s blood.
- The cannula, the IV tubing and the surgical gloves come sealed in sterile plastic or paper packages. The inside surface of these sterile packages can be opened out and laid flat to serve as a sterile surface for the equipment until you need it.
- The patient should be lying down in a comfortable position. Swab her skin with alcohol or soap and water around the area where the cannula will be put into a vein.
- Open the sterile package holding the IV tubing and connect it to the fluid infusion bag. Hang the bag on hook in a wall above the patient, or ask someone to hold it up for you. Make sure the tip of the tubing which will be connected to the cannula is kept untouched and sterile.