Archive August 2017 XVIII, No. 8

Ideas That Work: Hot Packs Make IV Starts a Breeze

first-stick success HOT TIP Some of the most challenging patients become first-stick success stories when you warm up their veins.

Hot Packs Make IV Starts a Breeze

Having trouble finding a vein to start an IV? Try using a hot pack. A quick squeeze causes the hot pack to heat up, and the heated pad, when placed over veins, helps dilate them, making them easy to see and access. We keep medical-grade hot packs on hand at our hospital, to use with patients who have sore necks or backs, but you can get similar products for less than a dollar apiece at big department stores. Patients are amazed at how much easier the IV start is when we use the hot pack. Any time we're having a little difficulty feeling a vein, it's our secret weapon.

Pearl Dixon, CPT
St. Mary Medical Center
Langhorne, Pa.
pmccall@stmaryhealthcare.org

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