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Understanding the Different Types of IV Sets and Their Uses

Understanding the Different Types of IV Sets and Their Uses

Most people have at least a vague understanding of what IVs are. IVs administer essential medications or other substances directly into a patient's bloodstream. They consist of a fluid-filled bag, a tube fluid travels through, and a needle that injects the fluid into the bloodstream through the veins. Meanwhile, an IV pump controls how much fluid is being released from the bag and delivered to the patient.

When combined, these parts are known as IV sets. The role of IV sets is to make IV administration as easy and safe as possible. There are several different kinds of IV sets, each with its unique uses and scenarios that they are used for. Understanding the different types of IV sets and their uses is crucial for providing each patient with the proper care. Here are four types of IV sets and their various applications.


As the name would imply, filtered IV sets contain a tiny micron filter that removes air emboli, bacteria, particulate matter, and other contaminants from the medication or fluid being used. This protects the patient against problems such as phlebitis (vein inflammation) caused by particulates or bacteria in the administered medication.

These IV sets work with many different medications and solutions. The filters they employ are available in a wide range of sizes, from .22 microns up to 5 microns. This allows them to filter out anything from microscopic particles to large particles.


Vented IV sets are designed for use with plastic or glass IV containers. Fluid won't flow from these inflexible containers unless you vent it. These IV sets feature a vent (air inlet) above the drip chamber that can be freely opened and closed. This allows air to enter the container and displace the medication or solution as it's infused.


Unlike vented IV sets, non-vented sets don't have any vents in the tubing. They're ideal for use with collapsible plastic bags because this type of tubing creates a vacuum that allows the container to shrink or collapse as the fluid drains from it.

However, one important thing to note is that non-vented tubing needs to be back flowed or primed to remove air before use.

Gravity Tubing

Gravity Tubing is the original and most popular kind of IV set. This type of tubing uses gravity and flow rate regulators to administer medicine or a solution to patients. A bag is suspended on a pole over the patient and filled with solution. The pressure of gravity pushes the solution through the tubing and delivers it into the patient's bloodstream at a controlled pace.

Med One Group is dedicated to ensuring hospitals have the high-quality equipment and supplies they need to provide patients with top-notch care. If you need IV tubing sets or other medical supplies, come and shop with us today!