KCL Protocol

About KCL

Potassium Chloride, or KCl, is an electrolyte that can be added to CRI IV pump bags at the veterinarians discretion when a low blood potassium (hypokalemia) is suspected. KCL is dangerous! Allowing concentrated KCl into the bloodstream can kill a dog instantly by causing serious electrolyte abnormalities, thus stopping the heart. KCl should never be added to bolus bag - only an IV CRI bag. Administering a large amount of diluted KCl too quickly can be just as fatal as injecting a small amount of concentrated KCl. KCl is no longer a standard additive to IV pump bags. It is only added when directed by a doctor, generally after 2-3 days of IV treatment with minimal patient improvement. 

How to mix KCL into a bag

  1. Check to see if there is another (unexpired) bag with the correct additives before adding KCl to a bag. 
  2. If no pre-mixed available bag
    1. Stop the pump.
    2. Clamp the IV line adjacent to the drip chamber (take it out of the pump if you need to).
    3. Place the bag on a level surface 
    4. Inject the correct amount of KCl.
      • 10mL of 2mEq/mL concentration (total of 20 mEq) KCL per 1L LRS.
    5. Invert the bag 10-15 times to completely mix/dilute the KCL throughout the bag. 
    6. Label the bag appropriately with added medication and quantity 
    7. Re-setup and restart the pump.