Parts of an IV bag

Written by susan abe
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Parts of an IV bag
A standard IV bag with all parts intact. (Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Intravenous bags, whether the tiny 50ml size or the standard 1000ml one, all have the same general layout. This allows health care workers to concentrate on the task at hand and not to have to evaluate a new infusion method each time an IV bag is hung. Some suppliers have changed the material used to manufacture IV bags, but the bag layout remains the same.

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Hang Hole

All IV bag tops have a reinforced area of plastic across the very top of the bag, with a pre-punched hole in the centre. The IV bag is hung from a hook through this hole.

Bag Label

Intravenous bags have their contents and expiration dates printed onto the plastic bags. Black ink is used for standard IV mixtures such as normal saline, Ringer's lactate or a solution of dextrose and water. Red ink designates an IV bag with a medication or additional electrolytes premixed into the solution.

Medication Injection Port

The medication injection port on an IV bag is the only aspect that might differ from facility to facility. On some bags, the injection port is a circular, self-sealing rubberised port near the bottom middle of the bag. However, most IV bags have an injection port at the end of a short piece of tube on the very bottom of the bag. This port is to the left of the administration port and is identified by the round, tan self-sealing rubber end.

Administration Port

The administration port is the short piece of tubing on the bottom of the IV bag and to right of the medication injection port. It is covered with a piece of blue plastic to keep the area sterile. The drip chamber of the separate IV tubing is inserted into this port when the blue plastic is removed, allowing the fluid in the bag to be administered to the patient.

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