IV Infusion Set

All there is to know about an IV infusion set

IV infusion sets are a unique set of tubules that help during various treatment procedures, mostly during intravenous manipulations. Their creation is mainly from different types of hypoallergenic plastic. Among the different medications infused to a patient via these devices are various saline solutions, antibiotics, etc.

Various types of this device exist with some equipped with needles and others with a hollow cannula at the tip. Very often, they combine with different kinds of intravenous catheters for patients receiving long-term therapy.

History of an IV infusion set

The first-ever known attempts at the use of these kinds devices date back to 1831. Dr. Thomas Latta from Leiht tried to use saline infusion methods during the cholera epidemic. However, unfortunately, the medical community did not accept Latta's revolutionary decisions. They used different metal and rubber materials to create their first known intravenous infusion sets.

After that, those methods of therapy were reinvented in the late 1890s by Guido Baccelli, who treated various infectious diseases with intravenous injections. He received a nomination in 1908 for a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his studies. 

Hirschfeld, Hyman, and Wanger studied and expanded the knowledge of those curing techniques since the 1930s. Still, unfortunately, they were not widely available across the whole world until the end of the 1950s. For example, they were the first researchers who developed the concept of a "speed shock," which often occurs when the pharmaceutical medications are infused too rapidly. 

Indications to use an IV Infusion set

The use of administration sets is spread widely among a very high number of various medical fields. Nowadays, almost every medicine has at least one generic in the form of a solution for injections. The overall number of medical fields where they are used is enormously colossal today. For example, they are useful in:

  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Oncology
  • Pulmonology
  • Diagnostic procedures
  • Reanimatology
  • Pediatrics 
  • Anesthesiology 
  • All types of surgery
  • Otolaryngology
  • And much more

Speaking of diagnostic procedures, nowadays, these tools are useful mostly for injections of different contrast agents before performing an MRI, CT, PET, or other medical studies. Those liquids may also be injected during operations. For example, it is crucial to make an injection with a contrast agent during an MRI procedure of heart, tumors, and vessels, but not before the procedure to obtain decent quality images.

Many different unspecified bacterial, infectious diseases and other pathological states are curable with infusions that may be performed exclusively via IV Infusion sets. For example, hypovolemia of any nature can be successfully treatable with crystalloid fluids. Here are examples of a few other pathological states that are successfully treated nowadays by utilizing an administration set:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Pneumonia of almost any etiology
  • Cholera
  • Dysentery
  • Cancers of different kinds
  • Pain syndrome
  • Disorders of acid-base balance
  • And many others

Often, the use of IV infusion sets is in combination with intravenous and other types of catheters. Many other different indications for its use already exist, and many new are delivered to the medical community by scientists every day. Still, the main and the most useful of them for today are the intravenous infusions and injections.

Contraindications in using an IV infusion set

One of the main contraindications in using administration sets is inflammatory diseases of blood vessels, e.g., different system vasculitis, autoimmune diseases, varicose vein disease, etc. Additional physical impact on the vascular wall may potentially cause much harm to the whole organism in general, and every single already injured vein.

Among other contraindications not directly connected to the IV infusion sets is intolerance to various medications delivered through the system. If the patient is allergic to any medical substance injected via this device, many various additional problems may occur, including different types of shocks, Lyell's syndrome, and allergic vasculitis.

The last group of contraindications relates to the poor condition of blood vessels. For example, if a vein changed due to numerous needle piercing, it may be hard to use it for IV infusion set needle insertion. Usually, in those cases, different subclavian and other types of catheters are used. Those methods are often useful for people who had many intravenous injections in the past, e.g., former intravenous drug addicts.

General specifications of IV infusion sets

There are many kinds of IV infusion sets sold nowadays everywhere. So, it is challenging to pick up the list of general specifications that will include the whole necessary parameters. That is why we picked up five of the most popular administration sets and outlined ten of the most regularly appearing. Here is the list that we got:

  • Connectors number - at least one
  • Spike - 20 drops per ml
  • Chamber - 20 drops per ml
  • Total length - 180 cm
  • Flow rate - 20 drops per ml
  • Infusion filter - not less than 15 microns
  • End of a set - optional to Luer lock or slip
  • Standard sterilized package - included as standard 
  • Male Adaptor and Needle - 21g x 1,25''
  • Protector - not less than 2,7 mm x 3,3 mm

Lots of different additional information may be found in a particular document named ISO 1135 - 5. It contains all the modern requirements for those devices and is reviewed from time to time, according to the latest medicine and scientific innovations worldwide.

How They Work

The main principle of how this device works is straightforward: the needle from the kit inserts into the patient's vein. After that, the tubules via connectors link it together with the injected solution or other medication. Since the pressure inside the patient's vessels is lower than the pressure in the bottle or packet with medication, it begins to flow down inside the veins.

This device is also handy during bolus injections. Those injections are usually performed via individual machines because their total time of performing sometimes can reach 30-60 minutes. In those cases, the IV transfusion set relates to a syringe inside an apparatus on one side and the patient's vessels from another.

Market Leaders

After performing in-depth and patient research of the market, we created a list of ten of the most high-quality and not too expensive administration sets. Here is what we got:

  • Baxter
  • Poly Medicure Limited
  • B. Braun Medical Inc.
  • C. R. Bard
  • ACE Medical
  • Smiths Group plc
  • Merit Medical Systems, Inc.
  • A&E Medical
  • 3M


An IV infusion set is a useful tool that nowadays finds its usage in almost every medical field. Its uses are often in treatment procedures and for various diagnostic manipulations. Intravenous infusions revolutionized medicine and expanded many doctors' possibilities in the treatment of multiple types of diseases. There are various ways of using this type of device, and many more are yet to be discovered.