Swift Up-Down Labels For IV Lines

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IV lines should be changed every 72 hours.  With changes in care, it can be difficult to know when the lines need to be changed if the line or bag is not marked.  IV bags previously had a place to write the date that the bag was hung and will expire, but changes in the product have eliminated this place.


The labels that are used to print out patient identification information are an ideal size to label the IV bag and/or line.  Simply take a sheet of blank labels.  On the left half of one label, draw an up arrow and write the day/time that the IV line was hung.  On the right half of the label, write the date and time the IV line should be changed (typically 72 hours). Alternatively, a sheet of pre-printed arrows (see linked document) can be printed on standard patient information labels (S10-250-100 label sheets) and placed in a folder or magazine holder on the wall in the equipment room where the IV bags and tubes are stored.  When the IV bag and tubing is collected, a label can be affixed to the tubing.

NOTE: If your hospital does not carry IV line labels, contact your nurse supervisor and suggest that your hospital carry these labels.  Use blank labels described above in place of the designated IV line labels.


Document with label template.
Standard Avery XXX label sheet (same labels as used to print patient information for documentation).

Meet the MInnovator
Akira Swift, RN
MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

Kira has been working at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center since she was 19 yrs old, first as a transporter for 6 years. During that time she enrolled in college trying to figure out her calling and ended up in Nursing. Kira worked as a CNA/Nurse extern for 2 years on the Cardiac unit and has been a nurse for 4 years. “Being able to advocate for someone’s health is very rewarding. I like working with a team of social workers, case management, hospitalist, and so on, in developing a plan that best promotes the patients’ quality of health. When a patient says ‘wow, I didn't know that’, ‘that was very informative’ or ‘I like how you give it to me straight,' I feel a sense of accomplishment that I've made a difference in someone's life.” Kira feels that nurses should always be looking for ways to innovate things that best promote safe practices and health of the patient.

“It goes against our code if we don't. We simply don't just carry out tasks and orders, we promote health in every way we can and should absolutely share it so we all can practice smarter and more efficiently.”