Buy this Article for $10.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


  1. Paquet, France RN, BSc, MSc(N), VA-BC(TM)
  2. Marchionni, Caroline RN, MSc Admin, MSc A


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.