A better understanding of IV Therapy

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  • Post last modified:July 27, 2023
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The use of IV therapy gives significant results and so to have a better knowledge about it and to remove your dilemma of whether one can prefer IV therapy or not, it is important to not only know its beneficial effects but also know in brief about the constituents that are present in the IV fluids or in other words the various ingredients that are present in the solution that helps in maintaining the health of the person and become aware of its risk factors too. In this way, it would be easier for you to know what drastic impact does IV therapy has on your body and what are its indications and contraindications. A detailed explanation is further in the blog.

For your body to work at its optimum level maintaining a homeostatic state is important. Deficit quantity of electrolytes, fluids, etc due to various chronic diseases, injuries, dehydration, and so on can disrupt the homeostatic state resulting in further complications. Your body requires an adequate number of electrolytes, vitamins, and fluids to maintain this state of homeostasis. To resolve this issue of imbalance of electrolytes and fluid deficiency in the body IV therapy can be beneficial to regain the hampered functions of the body that occur because of the disruption of homeostasis.

How are IV fluids given to a person?

IV fluids are liquids injected through a small needle into a person’s vein with the help of an IV tube. This tube connects to a bag that contains normal saline solution or any hydrating fluid. The medical professional controls the amount of fluid that a person receives through an adjustable valve present in the tube. The amount of sodium that a saline solution contains depends upon the patient’s condition and then the nurse or the doctor accordingly prescribes the type of fluid for administration. The saline solution contains glucose, dextrose, sodium or potassium, etc in it.

What is the use of these fluids?

There are several reasons for using IV fluids, in case of dehydration, in children who face problems like gastrointestinal disease, neurologic impairment, cardiac arrest, life-threatening conditions, people who do not receive proper fluid content through oral route, people who suffer from electrolyte imbalances to meet their daily requirement of the fluids and electrolytes for managing severe hypovolemia, oligo urea.
Dehydration leads to excessive loss of water and electrolytes from the body.

What are the causes and effects of dehydration?

One of the most important indications of IV fluids is dehydration. Dehydration can occur because of excess use of diuretics, diseases like diarrhea various renal dysfunctional diseases, etc. It can also lead to low blood pressure, fatigue dizziness, headaches muscle cramps, in infants (no wet diapers for three hours or more), low energy, yellow dark colored urine with a specific strong smell, dyspnoea, blotchy skin, and may affect the health of the skin. Usually, intake of fluids or ORS can cure mild dehydration cases but one may need IV therapy in moderate and severe conditions.

What are the types of IV fluids?

IV fluids are divided into colloids and crystalloids. This bifurcation is based on the composition of the solution and the way it reacts in the body. The basic difference between them is that the molecules that are present in crystalloid solutions are comparatively smaller than the molecules that are present in colloid solution and so its molecules remain in the bloodstream itself whereas the crystalloid solutions easily pass through the cell membrane.

Read more: IV Therapy FAQs

Crystalloid solutions

Crystalloids are further classified as hypotonic, hypertonic, and isotonic solutions.

1. Hypotonic solution

The sodium chlorine content is lower in this solution compared to the other two. It makes the fluid go into the cells through the osmosis process.
Depending upon the content of sodium chlorine the solutions are 0.45% NaCl , 0.33% NaCl ,0.225% NaCl, 2.5% dextrose in water.

2. Hypertonic solution

The sodium chloride content in these fluids is higher and they help the fluid to move out of the cells. These are not useful in dehydration conditions
These include 3% NaCl , 5% dextrose in water, 5% NaCl 5%dextrose in Lactated Ringer’s etc.

3. Isotonic solution

These cells help in maintaining the osmotic pressure by keeping the concentration levels of fluid in the cells and outside it the same. examples – Lactated Ringers, Ringer’s solution PlasmaLyte 0.9% NaCl, etc.

Colloid solutions

These solutions do not enter the cells. They continue to remain in the bloodstream without increasing the levels of fluid in the body. Eg – 5% albumin, Hespan, Hetastarch, etc.

What are the complications or risk factors of this therapy?

Various complications arise because of the improper administration of the IV like clotting, leakage, occlusion, infection, hyper or hyponatremia, etc, so one should follow adequate measures. Advise intravenous cannulation only in specific cases to avoid complications. some more complications are Air embolism, collapsed vein, fluid overload, hematoma, infection at the site of intervention of tube, and phlebitis.

Is there any recovery time after receiving IV fluids?

There is no specific recovery time mentioned but in some cases depending upon the disease, the person is advised for specific treatment or rest. The doctor would specify the needful recovery procedure if needed.

When should you call the doctor or health professional to check the IV drip?

If you feel there is pain at the site of IV intervention. Keep a watch on the rate of flow of the fluid. Note whether it is passing very slowly or too fast and if so then you should immediately inform the attendant or the nurse or the doctor in charge. One must report any kind of inconvenience instantly to avoid further complications. The formula for calculating the rate is, IV flow rate (gtts/min) – Total volume (ml)÷ time(min) × drop factor(gtts/ml). Depending upon the availability and opinion of the health professional one can do manual regulation or use an electric pump.

What happens after using IV fluids?

The person’s body is completely energized, he feels rejuvenated, the body starts functioning appropriately, and maintains the electrolyte imbalance.
It is not always possible for you to intake a large quantity of fluid when dehydration occurs so for this purpose IV therapy is the best method for early recovery and an effortless way of balancing the level of the electrolyte in the body. It is very important to understand that the amount of sodium present in the IV fluids completely depends upon the patient’s condition and accordingly suggested or advised. Make sure that without the proper prescription and attendant IV fluids are not administered. One can give IV therapy at hospitals, emergency centers, or even at home under the proper guidance and observation of health professionals. Last but not least make sure the IV fluids you are administering do not harm your health and become beneficial to you.

IV fluid service at home for dehydration

Medilife Health Care provides IV fluid services for dehydration at your doorstep amidst your comfort zone. It is a Global Hospital Chain and has Multiple Hospitals and Pharmacy chains in India, Australia, London, and Dubai.

To know more details about the available IV therapy at Medilife Click Here

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