A patient in septic shock is prescribed phenylephrine I.V. infusion to increase blood pressure. The nurse initiates the infusion knowing she must:

Protect the solution from light


•Phenylephrine can become unstable from light exposure and should be protected with an opaque cover.

•Phenylephrine is an alpha agonist. Stimulation of alpha receptors causes vasoconstriction. This is especially helpful during septic shock, when arteries are dilated.

•A baseline glucose or adding a dextrose solution is not necessary with phenylephrine.

•A new physician order is not needed after the initial I.V. bag is empty. If the physician orders a continuous infusion for phenylephrine, the nurse should continue the infusion until the patient's blood pressure is stable.

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