How do you unhook an IV? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 61 Old 04-22-2008, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I could have saved myself a lot of misery last time if I had known how to safely remove an IV from my arm. (was forcibly medicated while screaming that I did not consent) Can you just pull it out without a risk of getting air in your veins or something like that?
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#2 of 61 Old 04-22-2008, 02:03 PM
 
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I have thought that so many times... and I always want to ask the person who draws blood, and never do. I tried to look it up online, but
The only thing I've ever seen them do it put the gauze/cotton and squeeze down toward the needle while they slide it out. Then wrap it. But there may be something special... and I want to know, too! I've had some "issues" with IVs ranging from uncomfortable to "illegal"

---feeling like an emu on acid---
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#3 of 61 Old 04-22-2008, 03:05 PM
 
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I'd just apply pressure to the skin above the catheter and pull it out. I'd also make sure to slap the piss out of someone trying to medicate me without my consent.
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#4 of 61 Old 04-22-2008, 04:05 PM
 
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just pull it. pressure with gauze is good to minimize bleeding, but nothing bad is likely to happen if you just pull a regular old iv. and if someone were to try medicating me without my consent, you can bet i'd yank that sucker right out, and TRY to bleed all over that person...because my "contaminating" them with my blood means they get to spend the next hour filling out incident reports and possibly being medicated unneccesarily for hepatitis and hiv. seems fair to me.

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#5 of 61 Old 04-22-2008, 04:09 PM
 
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and if someone were to try medicating me without my consent, you can bet i'd yank that sucker right out, and TRY to bleed all over that person...because my "contaminating" them with my blood means they get to spend the next hour filling out incident reports and possibly being medicated unneccesarily for hepatitis and hiv. seems fair to me.
I almost felt bad there for a second laughing in agreement.
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#6 of 61 Old 04-22-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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oh yea, very simple. learned that the first couple weeks of nursing school. just pull it out, and apply pressure. you could turn off the IV first, but then it wouldnt look like an accident.

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#7 of 61 Old 04-22-2008, 04:31 PM
 
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Yes, as others have said just put some pressure on it with gauze or something and pull it straight out. You will need to take the tape off first though, which might be a bit tricky to do on your own (can be a bit fiddly esp. with one hand). Usually there are a bunch of flat/straight pieces of tape holding the whole thing in place, which are easy to see, but then often there is a very narrow piece of tape wrapped around the actual IV catheter in kind of a V-shape, which is a little harder to see. If you had a partner or friend to help you with that part it would make it easier, but I'm sure you could do it on your own if necessary.

Having said that, I think it would be a lot better to just not be in that situation again, if at all possible... I don't know the details though, and I imagine you've already thought of that!
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#8 of 61 Old 04-22-2008, 04:33 PM
 
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On second thought, tell the person putting it in that you've got terribly sensitive skin and ask them to tape it minimally.
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#9 of 61 Old 04-22-2008, 04:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jörð View Post
On second thought, tell the person putting it in that you've got terribly sensitive skin and ask them to tape it minimally.
LOL, good idea!
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#10 of 61 Old 04-22-2008, 05:07 PM
 
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I am an RN and yeah, you apply pressure, pull gently and apply a cotton ball or gauze to the area to stop any bleeding. Getting the tape off the hardest part. You cannot get air in your veins so don't worry about that.
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#11 of 61 Old 04-22-2008, 05:13 PM
 
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I would really have loved to have known this when I had my DC. I thought that I could do myself some kind of harm if I took it out myself. I still find it amazing that they think it is ok to hold down your arm and shove needles in it while you scream NO and other not so nice words!

Good to know. Thanks for the education today! I have already taken precautions to not have this happen again. It's called homebirth!
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#12 of 61 Old 04-22-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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I believe it but I wish I was not really hearing that people are injected without consent!!!!!!!
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#13 of 61 Old 04-22-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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Ooh, thanks for asking that. I wanted to take my own out last time (it was just a saline drip after the birth, they left my IV in "just in case" and then the nurse ignored my many requests to get rid of it already! I was good and swollen for days afterward)
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#14 of 61 Old 04-22-2008, 05:58 PM
 
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Oh ouch! I took mine out after delivery as well (but I am an RN so I guess they did not look down on me too much) and I told them I didn't want it in any longer than necessary. I think I took I took mine out because everyone else was so busy and ignored me asking them, so I just did it myself
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#15 of 61 Old 04-22-2008, 10:08 PM
 
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I am pushy. I would just pull it out as soon as they put it in, though I MIGHT wait until they walked out the door.

If I did not concent, there is no way I would just leave it in. And yeah, just pulling it out is all that you need to do. And I would not just "disconnect" it because they could reconnect it. If you pull it out they would have to actually reinsert it. I think they would get the message.

Though, I never thought of bleeding all over them, I might do that too, now that I know it would make much more work for them.

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#16 of 61 Old 04-22-2008, 11:49 PM
 
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I hear anecdotally about staff claiming to be hooking you up "just in case we need it" and then sneaking something in (usually Pit). Freaky!

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#17 of 61 Old 04-23-2008, 01:42 PM
 
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Wow- that is shocking that they would put it in with you telling them you did not consent. Pain medication is never necessary to save your life or your baby's. What they did is so wrong. Not that you would necessarily want to, but that sounds like a lawsuit.
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#18 of 61 Old 04-23-2008, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow- that is shocking that they would put it in with you telling them you did not consent. Pain medication is never necessary to save your life or your baby's. What they did is so wrong. Not that you would necessarily want to, but that sounds like a lawsuit.
Pit's not pain medication, and unfortunately it seems to be standard in most places that *everyone* gets it at the very least for 3rd stage. And because I signed myself into the hospital and that's the "standard of care" I haven't much to stand on.

To reply to everyone who said they would have/I should have fought harder or smacked someone... well I'm the type to make replies like that myself. But to clarify, they started the plain IV beforehand. I was a very last minute UC transfer and out of my mind in transition. They stuck the pit in it moments after DD was pushed out, while DH was over with her and I was screaming to not let them do vit K hep B eye stuff because he forgot everything, and I didn't know they were suctioning her or I would have been telling him to make them stop that, too. I had a UAV OB between my legs yanking on my cord and then sticking his hands in every hole he could find, and bruising my labia and clit with clamps to get them out of the way for stitches that I did not even need. And I was pretty sure they were going to kill my baby and never give her to me. I just didn't have anything left in me to beat anyone up, sorry.
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#19 of 61 Old 04-23-2008, 05:02 PM
 
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oh paquerette
I'm still not even sure what they did to me. I was completely out of it by that point, or i have blocked it out. I'm sure I got the pit, but I didn't get anesthetic for stitching and he yanked out the placenta and they took my baby away, suctioned her, roughed her up, and wouldn't let me touch her... handed her to me wrapped up in 4 blankets.. and there wasn't a thing wrong with her I wish I had never gone. I wish I had done SOMETHING other than yell when that UAV cut me. After he stitched me up, he said "nice job pushing" and walked out. Gee, thanks doc.
Oh, did I mention I had retained placenta that went untreated because the practice refused to see me before 6 weeks pp. They called in pain meds for me, though.

---feeling like an emu on acid---
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#20 of 61 Old 04-23-2008, 05:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by paquerette View Post

To reply to everyone who said they would have/I should have fought harder or smacked someone... well I'm the type to make replies like that myself. But to clarify, they started the plain IV beforehand. I was a very last minute UC transfer and out of my mind in transition. They stuck the pit in it moments after DD was pushed out, while DH was over with her and I was screaming to not let them do vit K hep B eye stuff because he forgot everything, and I didn't know they were suctioning her or I would have been telling him to make them stop that, too. I had a UAV OB between my legs yanking on my cord and then sticking his hands in every hole he could find, and bruising my labia and clit with clamps to get them out of the way for stitches that I did not even need. And I was pretty sure they were going to kill my baby and never give her to me. I just didn't have anything left in me to beat anyone up, sorry.

I did not mean to belittle your experience in any way. I'm reminded how lucky I am that my homebirth transfer ended up not terrible.
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#21 of 61 Old 04-23-2008, 06:25 PM
 
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So sorry that you had to deal with that. I have been abundantly blessed as I have never had a hosptial birth.

But that is also one reason that I have in my birth plan, no IV access for "just in case". Because I just don't trust the nurses or doctors to listen to me. And I figure that if they have to stick me, I will know it. If they have to just connect the tubes, I just may not.

Hopefully I will never have to find out how I would really react. Because one does not know until they have actually been there.

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#22 of 61 Old 04-23-2008, 06:34 PM
 
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The precautions involved in pulling out an IV are to try to keep sticky IV fluid from getting on stuff, to prevent the staff from getting needle sticks, and prevent you bleeding on stuff. If you're not worried about those things, it's sooo easy.

Not specifically related to birthing - I think it's really important to have a competent (ie, not drugged, sleepy, or sick) person around almost 100% of the time in a hospital. They can ask the questions - what are you putting up in that bag? How often will she get that? What's it for? Even without malicious intent or paternalism involved, it's nice to have a second system to prevent mistakes. Or even to help make sure the hospitalized person has answers available the moment they are coherant.

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#23 of 61 Old 04-23-2008, 09:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post
I hear anecdotally about staff claiming to be hooking you up "just in case we need it" and then sneaking something in (usually Pit). Freaky!
That is what happened to me. I didn't even know I got Pitocin until I requested my medical records.

And the "just in case" in my case was trying to put in the IV while I was trying not to push a baby out. I was leaning over the bed cussing her out and telling her no while she held down my arm. After it was in, I pushed out my babe in 5 minutes. A totally unnecessary IV that led to unnecessary pit!

Any update on the mom?? It would be nice to know what has happened since.
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#24 of 61 Old 04-23-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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Wow, again I don't know why but that's just shocking. It's sad that there are so many NURSES willing to treat women in such a disrespectful manner. Nurses? Other women and often mothers themselves manhandling and downright abusing laboring women? That's sickening.
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#25 of 61 Old 04-23-2008, 10:59 PM
 
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Honey, you come live with me to have that baby and I'll fight off the medical personnel with a 2x4, k?

Apply some pressure above the canula where it is in your skin. Not too much, though. Remove the tape and pull it out slowly and apply pressure to stop bleeding. It won't cause an embolism. Trust me, I've seen about a thousand pulled out in my time working on the floor.

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#26 of 61 Old 04-23-2008, 11:14 PM
 
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That is what happened to me. I didn't even know I got Pitocin until I requested my medical records.

And the "just in case" in my case was trying to put in the IV while I was trying not to push a baby out. I was leaning over the bed cussing her out and telling her no while she held down my arm. After it was in, I pushed out my babe in 5 minutes. A totally unnecessary IV that led to unnecessary pit!
Ooooooh, mama!

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#27 of 61 Old 04-24-2008, 01:11 AM
 
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Ooooooh, mama!
It's the main reason behind my decision to become a doula!

My dh (wonderful man but not a wonderful birth partner/supporter) and the doc were literally sitting there chuckling while I yelled! Nice!
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#28 of 61 Old 04-24-2008, 03:03 PM
 
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Yeah, I had written in my Birth Plan that I didn't want an IV, the doctor read it, said it was fine, and then at the hospital she said, this is a condition of care and not optional. So I got it. I just wish that woman had read the birth plan and said, you know, this isn't a good match, I believe in xyz, instead of just nodding and going along with me until baby day.
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#29 of 61 Old 04-24-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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The precautions involved in pulling out an IV are to try to keep sticky IV fluid from getting on stuff, to prevent the staff from getting needle sticks, and prevent you bleeding on stuff. If you're not worried about those things, it's sooo easy.
Just curious here - why would needle sticks be a concern when removing an IV, I thought that only a catheter was left in the arm and the needle removed with placement.
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#30 of 61 Old 04-24-2008, 03:31 PM
 
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The precautions involved in pulling out an IV are to try to keep sticky IV fluid from getting on stuff, to prevent the staff from getting needle sticks, and prevent you bleeding on stuff. If you're not worried about those things, it's sooo easy.
There is no needle in your arm after the IV is placed. They use the needle to make the hole into your vein, then a soft plastic flexible tube slides either through or over the needle into the vein, then they pull the needle out. So all you have in you is the soft tube. It's perfectly safe to just pull it out and apply pressure over the hole for several minutes to prevent bleeding and bruising. Or you could kink the IV line like a garden hose to stop the flow. They usually have some kind of stopper on the line that kinks it if you know how to use it.

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