22.3.1  Establishing a monitoring routine

A routine has to be established for monitoring the progress of IV fluid therapy, beginning at the bag of fluid and ending at the venipuncture site. The flow rate should be checked every 15 minutes for as long as the woman is with you. If the flow has slowed down, check if the IV tubing has twisted, or if the position of the woman’s hand or arm has twisted to obstruct the flow, and straighten them out. The flow rate in emergency fluid replacement should run as fast as possible.

Make sure you monitor the woman’s pulse and blood pressure every 15 minutes.

  • If you are giving IV fluid therapy to treat shock due to blood loss, what would you expect to happen to the pulse rate and blood pressure as the IV fluids are infused?

  • With adequate infusion the pulse rate will decrease and blood pressure will increase. (After infusing two to three bags of IV fluid, the expectation is for the pulse to slow down and the blood pressure to start rising towards normal.)

As soon as you have completed the IV fluid therapy set up, refer the woman to a higher health facility as quickly as possible. Go with her if you can.

22.3  Monitoring during IV therapy

22.3.2  When to stop IV infusion