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