Safe infusion practice and the clinical use of KVO reviewed



Like many nursing “sacred cows,” the practice of keeping a vein open with a small infusion of intravenous solution does not have clear origins or robust evidence. A survey of Canadian nurses was conducted to determine current practices. More than 50% of respondents reported regularly using a keep-vein-open (KVO) rate between doses of intermittent medication.

Frequently, the rate was not specified by the prescriber; in this case, nurses preferred 21 to 30 mL/h. Given the absence of evidence and the frequent use, it is important to ensure that KVO is used properly in the context of a medical prescription or an organizational protocol.


Paquet, F. and Marchionni, C. (2016) What Is Your KVO? Historical Perspectives, Review of Evidence, and a Survey About an Often Overlooked Nursing Practice. Journal of Infusion Nursing. 39(1), p32-37.

Thank you to our partners for supporting IVTEAM


Comments are closed.

Free Email Updates
Join 5.5K IVTEAM members. Subscribe now and be the first to receive all the latest free updates from IVTEAM!
100% Privacy. We don't spam.