How to choose the correct IV Pole

how to choose the correct IV Pole

This quick guide will make it easier for you to know how to choose the correct IV Pole

With all the different configurations of IV poles on the market today, it is very difficult to narrow down exactly what you need and maintain the set budget. There are many cheap IV Poles available which may look attractive to the budget setting folks. However, they can actually end up costing you in repairs.  Three key areas where buying cheap IV Poles may cost you are:

Shorter lifetime: Some IV Poles are so cheap they are viewed as disposable. Would you rather purchase IV poles every year or buy IV Poles that have a 5 year warranty and last longer than that?

Damage to equipment: Many areas of the hospital mount infusion pumps to the IV pole. If you mount it to a pole that is not rated to support it, the pole could tip over and damage your infusion pump, which is worth thousands of dollars. Buying the correct IV Pole is pretty reasonable insurance against those accidents.

Patient Risks- As patients become ambulatory, they often push their own IV Pole as they walk. If the IV pole is hard to push or not sturdy enough, it could result in a patient falling or becoming injured. There is no price that can be put on that injury. Inspectors can minimize the risk by routinely inspecting IV poles and purchasing IV poles that are suited to the area they are being used.

An IV Pole may seem like a very simple piece of equipment. However, if you get the incorrect style, it can become an enormous problem. By breaking it down into 4 simple steps, you can easily choose the right pole for your healthcare facility with the guide below.

Step #1: Choose your material

Thinking about where your IV poles will be used and how long they need to last is very important. Chrome is an inexpensive option but it will not have a long life. Stainless steel is a brilliant choice for any application and it will last for many years. Many times we get fooled by the difference because when chrome is new, it may look a little shinier than stainless steel. Don’t be deceived-there are some major differences. This post may help you on Chrome vs. Stainless Steel.

  • Chrome – Chrome is a standard, durable option for clinical areas. Is a more economical but will not last as long as stainless steel. As the chrome coating gets worn and damaged, it will start to rust which is a large infection control problem.
  • Stainless Steel – Stainless steel is a premium durable option for clinical areas and a requirement for sterile areas such a surgical. It will last a long time and even with extensive wear, the pole will not corrode or rust. Easy to wipe down and keep clean.

For more information on the difference of stainless steel vs. chrome, view our article on Chrome vs. Stainless Steel.

Step #2: Choose your top style

Many caregivers have different preferences when it comes to the style of IV pole top. We have 4 top options. all four options are available in stainless steel. The 2 hook and 4 hook tops are the only style we offer in Chrome. The style you prefer greatly depends on the department and what the pole is being used for.

  • 2 Hook Top – Used in areas where not a lot of IV Bags are used.
  • 4 Hook Top – The standard size used for most IV poles.
  • 6 Hook Top – Great for areas where a lot of IV’s are used such as ICU and Surgery.
  • 8 Hook Rake Top – A different style of top with 8 hooks to separate bags and make them easy to read.

Step # 3 Choose your base style

As the base is the support for the IV pole, it is critical to its stability. Choose your base wisely and consider how many infusion pumps you intend to attach to the poles etc.

  • 5 Leg Economy Base – Our most economical base. 5 leg epoxy coated charcoal base is 24″ diameter with 2″ swivel casters.
  • 6 Leg Economy Base – Still an economical IV pole base. 6 leg epoxy coated charcoal base is 24″ diameter and 3″ swivel casters. Suitable for mounting 1-2 infusion pumps to.
  • 5 Leg Space Saving Base – This 5 Leg base is only 16″ diameter but it has extra weight to support the pole so you can mount an infusion pump to the pole. Epoxy coated in 5 standard colors and 3″ swivel casters make this a great choice where space is tight. Suitable for mounting 1 infusion pump to.
  • 5 Leg Spider Base – The 5 leg spider style to keep the center of gravity low and the 22″ diameter base, make this is a very sturdy base. Epoxy coated in 5 standard colors and 3″ swivel casters make this a great choice for holding multiple infusion pumps.
  • 6 Leg Spider Base – The 6 leg spider style to keep the center of gravity low and the 22″ diameter base, make this is our sturdiest IV Pole Base. Epoxy coated in 5 standard colors and 3″ swivel casters make this the best choice for several infusion pumps.
  • 6 Leg Stainless Steel Spider Base – With 6 legs and a spider design this pole is very sturdy. Add stainless steel construction and premium ball bearing casters and this base is a tank. Impervious to cleaners and damage, this base will be around for years to come. Suitable for holding several infusion pumps.

Step # 4: Upgrade your casters

Casters may be the most important part of an IV Pole. Many hospitals choose to upgrade their castes for ease of transport. Transitions between different types of flooring and in and out of elevators are the most difficult places to navigate. Upgrading your casters can be money well spent in your IV Pole budget.

Our IV Poles come standard with swivel thermoplastic rubber 2 or 3″ caster.

  • Standard 2″ or 3″ – Thermoplastic Rubber wheels are a better alternative to standard rubber wheels. Non-marking, and floor-protective, the tread is chemically bonded to the core, and is resistant to chemicals and oils, and ideal for wash-down application. 2″ casters are standard on our 5 Leg Economy base. 3″ casters are standard on all our other IV Pole bases except the 6- leg stainless steel spider base.
  • Vipor – A roller blade caster with hood and ball bearings. Vipor Wheels are made from a specialized material which provides excellent abrasion resistance with a very high-tech look. They are resistant to chemicals and oils.
  • Omega – MonoTech wheels provide ultimate floor protection, and a quiet, cushioned ride. They roll over obstacles with ease and will not flat spot. Excellent on any floor type, MonoTech wheels reject floor debris, including metal shavings and glass. Donut tread wheels provide easier roll ability and maneuverability. Comes standard on our 6 leg stainless steel spider base.

The matrix below helps determine the IV Pole the best meets you needs. If you have trouble finding it just drop us a note: [email protected] or connect with us. It is our goal to get you the IV Pole that best suits your needs at a price you can afford.


8 thoughts on “How to choose the correct IV Pole”

  1. of the upper, solid pole, is there a standard diameter or are there many depending on brand and how heavy duty? If various, what are the most common ones?

    1. Hello Alexander,

      There are different sizes of poles on the market. 1″ is the most common, however there are some 7/8″ as well as 1 1/4″. Mid Central Medical’s lower poles are 1″ up to the knob adjustment and 3/4″ above the knob. Probably more important to the stability of the pole than the diameter is the way it attaches to the base and the weight and construction of the base. Our spider style base is designed so the pole attaches securely to the base. I addition to that is the lower center of gravity in the spider design, as well as the fact is weighs 22 lbs. This makes it a very sturdy IV Pole that rolls around facilities with ease. Our economy base on the other hand still attaches securely to the pole and the pole is the same diameter, however, the base is a lighter tubular style base which overall makes the pole not as stable, still a great unit, just makes sure you are choosing the correct pole for your application.

    1. Trevor Kneeshaw

      Hello Eric,

      1″ or 1-1/4″ are most common in standard IV Poles, however, when multiple infusion pumps are being used, larger diameter poles are being used frequently. We offer options for up to 10 pumps on a pole! Reach out if you have needs [email protected]

    1. Trevor Kneeshaw

      Hello Ted,

      Step 1 Ensure the pole is clean from any debris that may be causing the sticking. This can be done by loosening the knob and removing the inner pole completely. Clean the pole and ensure the there is nothing inside the inner collar that is causing the sticking. Also inspect the pole for any burrs or dents that may be causing it to not slide. Scratches and burrs can be polished out with a scotchbrite abrasive pad or equivalent. Dents will require the inner pole to be replaced.
      Step 2 If you have done the above and it is still sticking, you could use a white lithium grease(the paste type) on the inner threads of the knob. Inside the collar where the pole slides, you can use a petroleum jelly.

    1. Hello Broadway Medical Supply,

      We have a lot of different types, depending on the need, everything from very economical types to premium. What are you using the IV Pole for?

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