Reviewed by Dr Carl Kuschel and Helen Lamb (NSANP)

July 2007

Dose and Pharmacology Newborn Drug Protocol Index Newborn Services Home Page


Management of  Potassium Administration



Volumetric infusion pump.



  1. For central line administration, dilute prior to use to 1 mmol in 12.5ml (80mmol/L) with NS, D5W or D10W. Stronger solutions are unacceptable. Mix well.
  2. For peripheral line administration, dilute prior to use to 1mmol in 25ml (40mmol/L) with NS, D5W or D10W. Mix well.
  3. Administer by slow IV infusion Y injection port of minibore tubing.  Keep IV fluids running to ensure further dilution of potassium. Compatible for co-infusion with IVN at Y injection site.
  4. Do NOT mix with other drugs, blood or blood products.


  1. Shake well before use.
  2. Administer with feeds to decrease likelihood of gastro-intestinal reactions.

Observation and Documentation

  1. Monitor for adverse reactions.
  2. Observe site closely for extravasation.
  3. Continuous cardiac monitoring during administration of slow IV infusion by syringe pump.
  4. Monitor K+ levels closely following slow infusions.
  5. Assess for gastrointestinal intolerance of oral potassium.


Selected References

1 Trissel LA. Handbook on Injectable Drugs (14th Ed), 2007. p1370-1
2 Phelps SJ, Hak EB. Pediatric Injectable Drugs (7th Ed), 2004. p332-3.
3 Tubman M, Majumadar SR, Lee D, Friesen C, Klassen TP. Best practices for safe handling of products containing concentrated potassium. BMJ 2005;331:274-7.
4 Neonatal Formulary 5: Drug use in pregnancy and the first year of life. BMJ Books (Blackwell Publishing, Oxford) 2007. p205.