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What Is Filtered IV Tubing

IV set with needle

Filtered IV tubing

Filtered IV tubing is the IV tubing with a small micron solution filter in the drip chamber or attached to the tubing. This filter removes potential contaminants from the infusion fluid. It is a very important part of the IV set.

The filtered IV tubing protects the patient from receiving fluid containing particulate matter, bacteria, or air emboli. Particulates or bacteria in the infusion fluid infused to the patient can cause phlebitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels. Thus, using filtered IV tubing protects and prevents the patients from contracting phlebitis.

Medical workers and professionals use IV tubing with a filter to infuse different medications. Thus, manufacturers design and prepare varying types of filters with varying pore sizes. A 15-micron filter is usually used for the normal gravity IV tubing. The filtration rate of 15μm±1μm latex particles is ≥90%.

IV solution filter
IV solution filter

In some forms, the IV set contains the filters (in-line filter) and is available in different sizes. A 15-micron filter screens large particles that could have been admixed in the fluid during the preparation of products, like glass particles from glass ampules. IV tubing manufacturers also design and prepare a 0.22-micron filter to remove bacteria.

As mentioned in the preceding, IV tubing with a fluid filter plays a great role in preventing some complications in the management of patients. However, in some situations, medical workers do not resort to using them. Some medications contain molecules too large to pass through the filter. These large molecules may bind to the filter and be unnecessarily removed from the IV fluid. Thus, care needs to be exercised in using the right filter or not using it at all. The policies of the medical institutions need to be consulted regarding medications that need filters for parenteral administration.

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Several Types of IV Tubing

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