Administering IV Medication Bolus via an Existing Line


The administration of a bolus dose of intravenous medication is the administration of the prepared medication directly into the bung of a cannula placed into the vein of the person. Alternatively, there may be an infusion of IV fluid in progress, in which case the medication will be administered via an injection port on the IV line.

For this route of medication administration the nurse is present throughout the procedure. While administration may take less time than other intravenous administration strategies, the nursing time taken to complete the administration can be longer. It is important that the nurse plans the intravenous medication administration not only to meet the prescription requirements but also to allow time without disruption or pressure to hasten the administration.

Assessment for signs of phlebitis, extravasation, infection and pain before, during and after intravenous administration is vital to ensure the patency and viability of the vein.

All usual considerations around safe medication administration apply and additional efforts to prevent infection through the application of ANTT in the preparation and administration of the medication are required. Guidelines on correct dilution and administration practices specific to each medication must also be confirmed with either the Australian Injectable Drugs Handbook (AIDH) or the product information leaflet before preparation and administration.

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