INITIATE AN INTRAVENOUS INFUSION AND MANAGE A PATIENT WITH AN
INITIATE AN INTRAVENOUS INFUSION
As a soldier medic, you will be providing medical care in a variety of situations.
The method you will use to control hemorrhage in a casualty will likely depend on the
tactical situation. Once hemorrhage has been controlled, the casualty may need fluid
resuscitation to combat hypovolemic (low volume of fluid in the circulatory system)
shock or to help prevent hypovolemic shock. This lesson will concentrate on the
battlefield methods. It is imperative that all bleeding has been stopped before any
attempt to start an intravenous infusion is performed.
In this subcourse, the abbreviation "IV" can mean either "intravenous" or
a. The goal of managing hypovolemic shock is to increase tissue perfusion and
oxygenation status. Treatment is directed at providing adequate oxygenation and
ventilation. STOPPING THE BLEEDING must be the priority before any fluid
(1) Circulation and hemorrhage control priorities include controlling severe
hemorrhage immediately, obtaining intravenous access, and assessing tissue perfusion.
(2) If the casualty has a significant injury, initiate a single 18-gauge catheter
in a peripheral vein and place a saline lock on it. If no significant injury exists,
parenteral fluids are not required; however, the casualty should be encouraged to drink
oral fluids as he will likely be somewhat dehydrated.
Sometimes, a casualty who has had been wounded may not need
intravenous fluids at the time of initial treatment, but may need them at a later
time. It is usually a good idea to prepare for administering IV fluids while the
vein is still strong and easy to find. This is done by inserting the
needle/catheter into the vein, removing the needle, and inserting a saline lock
adapter into the catheter hub. The adapter seals off the catheter until you are
ready to administer fluids intravenously.