Sometimes I really wonder what people are really thinking. Wait – I take that back – I already have a reasonable idea of what most of our patients are (not) thinking. Sometimes I really wonder what my fellow co-workers are thinking based on what I see them doing (or not doing).
I came to work the other day and this is what I found in the ambulance:
That is one spiked IV bag and, not one, but two flooded saline locks. Clearly the last crew to use this ambulance opened all the packages some 12-24 hours earlier to prepare these devices so that they’re “ready to go.” I’m not sure where, because none of it was used. It was “ready to go” to the trash, as far as I’m concerned.
Let’s set aside for a moment issues of sterility, aseptic techniques, general cleanliness of the patient compartment, infections and other unimportant topics. Everywhere I go, I see crews doing this. (OK, maybe not to this extent.) That’s a lot of opened but unused IV bags thrown out. Isn’t this perhaps a bit wasteful?
More importantly, what provider actually thinks s/he absolutely needs to start an IV right now at this very moment and not a second later that s/he feels it necessary to have these things pre-spiked? How long does it take to spike a bag? I don’t believe I’ve ever seen or heard of any patient who was wrested from the grips of death by an IV start that came just in the nick of time.