What does “KVO” mean?

KVO=”keep vein open” or “to keep open.” It is just enough maintenance IV fluids (like 10 cc/hr) to theoretically prevent a catheter from clotting. It is not legally an order because the right thing to do is calculate a specific rate for each individual patient.

To refresh your memory, to calculate maintenance IV fluids for your patient:

Pediatric: weight-based.

(4ml/kg for the first 10kg) + (2ml/kg for kg 11-20) + (1ml/kg for every kg above 20) = hourly rate


More like a guesstimate.

  • 20-25 cc/kg/day: older, frail patients; renal disease; heart failure; malnourished/at risk of refeeding syndrome
  • 25-30 cc/kg/day:
  • Obese patients: adjust the fluid calculation to their ideal body weight.

There is no scientific rate that is KVO. Each hospital has their own idiosyncratic KVO rate. But basic line, you shouldn’t use it if you can avoid it.

See: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1817607-overview


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