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"Knowledge regarding a metronome technique may help EMS clinicians provide safe and effective IV infusions" Galvagno et al (2021).

IV administration rate


Background: Limited research regarding administration of timed medication infusions in the prehospital environment has identified wide variability with accuracy, timing, and overall feasibility. This study was a quality improvement project that utilized a randomized, controlled, crossover study design to compare two different educational techniques for medication infusion administration. We hypothesized that the use of a metronome-based technique would decrease medication dosage errors and reduce time to administration for intravenous medication infusions.

Methods: Forty-two nationally registered paramedics were randomized to either a metronome-based technique versus a standard stopwatch-based technique. Each subject served as a control. Subjects were asked to establish an infusion of amiodarone at a dose of 150 mg administered over 10 min, simulating treatment of a hemodynamically stable patient with sustained monomorphic ventricular tachycardia. Descriptive statistics and a repeated measures mixed linear regression model were used for data analysis.

Results: When compared to a standard stopwatch-based technique, a metronome-based technique was associated with faster time to goal (median 34 s vs 50 s; , P = 0.006) and fewer mid-infusion adjustments. Ease of use was reported to be significantly higher for the metronome group (median ranking 5, IQR 4-5) compared to the standard group (median ranking 2, IQR 2-3; P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Knowledge regarding a metronome technique may help EMS clinicians provide safe and effective IV infusions. Such a technique may be beneficial for learners and educators alike.


Galvagno SM, Cloepin J, Hannas J, Rubach KS, Naumann A, Wendell J. Comparison of a metronome-guided prehospital medication infusion technique with standard calculation: a simulated randomized, controlled, cross-over study. BMC Emerg Med. 2021 Oct 7;21(1):111. doi: 10.1186/s12873-021-00503-6. PMID: 34620117.