On one particularly busy, crazy night, I had a patient who we were watching for labor. She had an IV running for no other reason than to have it in "just in case she went into labor" and she decided wanted to get up and walk the halls. I saline locked her IV and just attached the end of the tubing to another port on the IV line, above the IV pump. She got up, walked for awhile and then decided she was ready to lay down. I flush her saline lock. About that time, I was called out of the room to go to the ER for a patient who came in by ambulance who was crowning. I quickly turn my pump back on, and make a mad dash to the ER where got the pleasure of catching a baby down in the ambulance bay while the ER staff stood as far away as possible. (They don't do labor...we don't do traumas. We have an understanding). Exhilarating. Anyway, I go in to check on my other patient who had been up walking, who was now asleep, and I'm surprised to see the IV bag looks suspiciously as full as it was when she went back to bed.* I use my clinical skills and I realized why...I never hooked the tubing back up to the saline lock. The fluid was just cycling through the pump, thus explaining why my bag volume looked the same...because it was. *Dumb* Thankfully, it was change of shift.
*no harm was done, before someone blasts me. Fluid was a *just because* order, so we'd have the line in if she went into labor and I was given "permission" to saline lock her if she got up and walked. I could have left her IV site saline locked or hooked fluid back up, and she was a little on the dehydrated side and I figured the fluid wouldn't hurt her.