The world of the nurse has changed a great deal over the past few years. Today, the nurse no longer has to stand and count drops for the infusion of IV fluids. The nurse’s routine changed a lot when the intravenous pumps (IV) became available. But with the hustle and bustle of the hospitals, the problem still arises, that there is just not enough IV pumps to go around. The Wolf-Pak Extension set, known to a lot of nurses as Dial-a-Flow sets, can be used in place of the IV pump when needed, this provides the safety of controlling the IV fluids for the patient. These help to prevent the patient from receiving more fluid than they are supposed to.
The Wolf-Pak Extension set is 18″ long and has an IV Rate Control Regulator. The really nice thing about these sets are that they are latex free, so there is no concerns when a patient is admitted that has latex allergies. They also feature non-DEHP tubing. This means that these extensions are not manufactured with DEHP. This is a plasticizer that is used in the manufacture of some IV tubing, that effects some people when they are exposed to it. The Dial-A-Flow system is a highly cost effective alternative to IV pumps.
The extension set being 18″ long, it allows for space between the IV line and the patient. The usual placement of the extension tubing is between the IV catheter that is inserted in the patient and the regular IV line that is connected to the infusion bag. The regulator on the extension tubing has bold printing on it making it is easy to read and it is easily adjusted to provide the amount of flow of the fluid that is ordered for the patient.
The Dial-a-Flow functions by gravity and helps to prevent the accidental free flow of solution to the patient. This helps prevent fluid overload. It will help to provide a more consistent flow of the fluid than a regular roller clamp does. These also help with the prevention of the tubing getting crimped or the roller clamp drifting.
The flow regulator will adjust from 0-250 ml/hr. This makes allowances for the rate that is ordered for the patient. These are designed to regulate the flow of the fluid, but because of the fact that they are manually regulated, they are not considered “infusion pumps”. The Wolf-Pak Extension sets come 50/case.
The age of the patient, severity of the illness, type of therapy, clinical setting, policy and procedures of the facility, and the knowledge of the nurse, should always be taken into consideration before using the flow regulators. The Dial-a-Flow should be checked during the infusion to ensure that the prescribed delivery rate is being delivered correctly. They do not replace the nurse’s responsibility to monitor the infusion of the therapy.