Question: I have recently heard several answers to the following question, so I would really appreciate hearing the answer. How many IV attempts are allowed/permitted/encouraged per paramedic/patient?
Great Question! It is unfortunate that there have been inconsistencies surrounding this topic, and hopefully this answer will assist you. Historically, the recommendation has been two IV attempts, however, with the new directives, there is no specific language related to the number of IV attempts per patient or per medic. We would like to suggest that the number of IV attempts made depends on the severity of the patient and his/her condition. Keep in mind that remaining on scene for prolonged periods of time to make several IV attempts may not always be in the best interest of the patient. Also, a number of unsuccessful attempts may prevent further cannulation in the ED by potentially more experienced practitioners. In end, there is no concrete answer as to the maximum number of attempts; however, a reasonable number may be two on scene. Enroute, if you feel that it is in the best interest of the patient to try another attempt, then it is reasonable to do so.