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What is A Single-winged Drip Set?

infusion sets

General Description

Single-winged drip set is a drip set with a single-wing needle, consisting of a plastic spike with cap, air vent with tube, drip chamber with rubber injection site, roller clamp, Luer lock with filter, single-wing needle, and tubing. It is a tube system that connects the fluid container and medications with the needle inserted into the patient’s vein.

infusion sets with scalp vein set
Single-winged drip set

IV set parts

Plastic spike with cap

It is the part that is located at the most distal end of the IV tubing. It is used to pierce the IV fluid container and anchor the whole infusion set while the infusion is going on. It has a length of 66 mm.  

Plastic spike with cap
Plastic spike with cap

Air vent with tube

The air vent connects with the plastic spike by a tube. It serves as an inlet of air going inside the drip chamber. The membrane filters out more than 90% of 0.5um air particles.

Air vent
Air vent

Drip chamber with rubber injection site

It is the sac-like and transparent chamber that is situated immediately below the air vent with the tube. It serves as a venue to contain liquids, count the flow rate, and observe if the IV fluid is flowing. It has a length of 48 mm. Doctors can inject medicines into the fluid through the rubber injection site.

drip chamber
Drip chamber

Roller clamp

The roller clamp is attached along the length of the tube. It can be rolled up and down along the plastic line, and it is used to control and regulate the flow rate of the IV fluid. It has a length of 48 mm.

flow regulator
Roller Clamp

Luer lock with filter

This part is practically the most proximal part of the drip set, and it is immediately behind the scalp vein set. It is in this structure that the needle is attached. It provides a 2-pronged function: If you want to replace the scalp vein set, you can do it any time. If you do not, the lock ensures the scalp vein set is in place and cannot be easily removed. Equipped with the filter which pore diameter is 15 to 18 microns, it could prevent impurities and debris from entering the patient’s bloodstream.

Luer lock with solution filter
Luer lock with filter

Scalp vein set/ Single wing needle

The scalp vein set or single wing needle contains the needle, which is used to pierce and prick the patient’s vein. It connects the IV set to the patient, and it has a gauge of 24. Being at the end of the IV set dramatically influences the flow of the IV fluid. If the more extensive the needle diameter, the faster the flow. If smaller, the flow could be slower. Thus, it is necessary to use the correct needle gauge to meet the patient’s fluid requirement.

disposable scalp vein set
Scalp vein set or single-wing needle

IV tubing

The flexible and transparent IV tubing is the main part of IV drip set. The line serves as the IV fluid’s central passageway, and all the supporting parts are attached to it. It is 150 cm long and is made of PVC or non-DEHP PVC

Precautions and care 

Decontaminate hands 

Before inserting the needle into the patient’s vein, ensure that you wash your hands with soap and water. Use a pair of sterilized gloves to cover your hands before starting to work.

Aseptically clean the IV insertion site 

The insertion site could serve as the source of disease-causing microorganisms. Therefore, after selecting the site, clean the area by rubbing sterilized cotton soaked with an adequate amount of alcohol or povidone-iodine antiseptic solution. Wipe dry the site with another set of sterilized cotton.

Remove only the plastic cover of the needle when ready to insert 

Do not remove the plastic cap prematurely. It means that if you are not ready to insert it, do not unnecessarily expose the needle by removing the protective cover so early. It would be helpful if your assistant could hold the protected needle, remove the plastic cap when you are ready, and then hand it to you for insertion.

Place adequate cover over the insertion site

If your needle insertion is successful, then place the adequate cover over the insertion site. You can use sterilized gauze as the first layer cover, then have it covered again by paper tape. Good cover over the insertion site could achieve two purposes: (1) protect the insertion site from the entry of disease-causing microorganisms. (2) stabilize the placement of the needle and prevent accidental removal or accidental puncturing of the sides of the vein, preventing, in turn, possible bleeding from the site.

Regular check-ups and evaluation of the whole IV set         

The care and precaution of the infusion set do not stop when the needle has been inserted, and the IV fluid has started flowing. The entire IV drip set, especially and, more importantly, the insertion site, must be inspected, checked up, and monitored periodically—hourly if possible. By doing a periodic check of the IV set, the problems could be nipped in the bud. Problems like stoppage of the IV flow, erroneous flow rate, dislodgement of parts, bleeding and bulging at the insertion site, and possible infection at the insertion site could be found and solved at the earliest possible time.    

Periodic replacement of infusion set and infusion site

Even without observable problems, the infusion set and the infusion site need to be changed every 48-72 hours. It was observed that issues related to the infusion set usually occur on the third day of use. It means that if the infusion set, or the use of the infusion site, is not replaced after the third day, then side effects could occur. For example, skin irritations, bacterial contaminations leading to skin inflammation, bruising and bulging, catheter dislodgement and occlusions, and other undesirable side effects could occur.


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