Most pediatric patients have an intravenous (IV) line while they are hospitalized. The IV is a method of giving fluids and/or medication through a hollow catheter into a vein.
At Mercy Children’s Hospital St. Louis all of our IV fluids are administered through IV pumps. These pumps administer the exact amount of fluids that your child is prescribed. The IV pump runs on batteries for a little while but when your child is in his or her room, the IV pump should be plugged into the wall. Please “plug your child back in” after he or she has gone for a walk or to use the bathroom.
The IV pumps are programmed to administer fluids and medication and also to monitor the flow of the fluids and catch any sign of air in the tubing. When a medication is finished or there is something wrong with the administration of the IV fluids or medication, the IV pump will “beep.” This beeping is really an alarm telling us the pump needs attention. While the beeping is annoying, please do not push the buttons on the IV pump to silence the beeping. Let your child’s nurse know that the IV is beeping so that he or she can reprogram the machine or tend to any problem. This is for your child’s own safety.