Have you noticed patients in medical dramas or medical shows with a long plastic line attached to their arm? This is an IV treatment catheter. The catheters are plastic tubes that help in administering medicines or other fluids. The IV treatment or intravenous treatment that meets any requirement of the patient such as blood, or medication. It plays a role when kids or elderly are experiencing severe symptoms of viral fever.
The purpose of IV treatment is for the fluids or the medication to access the body. Better than other modes of administration such as oral or sublingual. This is through the impact of the circulatory system that ensures everything reaches the target area.
Let us look at the different ways the medical sector uses IV therapy.
What Is IV Therapy?
The field of science specifically, medical science has seen several advancements, one such was IV therapy. Intravenous therapy is a technique that allows healthcare professionals to administer essential fluids such as medications and nutrients directly into the patient’s vein.
Intravenous can translate to mean “in the vein” which is the route of administration for the fluid. These may be nutrients as you will learn within the following sections or medications such as seen on your favorite medical drama (Thinking of House, anyone?).
For example, elderly people in nursing homes or hospitals who may refuse to consume food or cannot do it due to existing conditions are provided nutrition intravenously.
7 Reasons for IV Infiltration Treatment
If you are wondering “What Is IV Treatment Used For?” This is the section where you can find the answer! There are several uses of IV therapy from balancing the fluid levels in someone’s system to administering medications when the patient cannot consume it through other ways.
The uses of this treatment are as follows:
- Treating Dehydration
In case of severe dehydration, a person can lose consciousness and become unaware of their surroundings. They need immediate help with IV therapy.
- Administration Of Medication
The easiest way of administering medication is through an IV, it ensures that it reaches the target area comparatively quicker than other modes of administration. Intravenous administration of medication directly sends the fluid into the vein. The blood carries the substance infused through IV to the circulatory system.
- Covid IV Treatment
The COVID-19 pandemic was a rude awakening for the world. It gives us an idea of how we have no clue of microbial attacks. Scientists across the globe, ready to find a cure, developed a vaccine that could help stall the infections. The monoclonal antibody treatment for the infection is an approach that targets the spike protein of the virus. This yields positive in vitro results. Physicians administer monoclonal antibodies using IV therapy.
- Blood Transfusion
A medical routine procedure that provides donated blood to the recipient through the IV tube. One of the most used procedures in medicine, blood transfusions are essential for people in serious accidents. People with conditions such as anemia, kidney issues, leukemia require blood transfusions frequently.
Often people cannot absorb nutrients through their digestive system. This could be for several reasons such as eating disorders, lack of food for a long time, surgery or other medical conditions. These cases require providing the affected person with appropriate nutrition through IV.
- IV Vitamin Therapy
IV vitamin therapy is an approach where people are provided with micronutrients. A person under severe deficiency of nutrients and minerals requires this therapy. Through this approach, people receive high doses of vitamins or minerals directly into the bloodstream. This ensures that the cells quickly absorb the nutrients.
Is IV Treatment Good Or Bad?
IV therapy requires expertise and skill. The generally safe procedure can lead to harm. However, this is rare and there are ways to control the damage. However, if the nurse or physician starting an IV does not do it correctly, errors in administration can lead to severe harm to the patient. One such condition is IV infiltration.
IV infiltration is a condition where some of the infusing fluids leak into the tissue under the skin where the physician inserts the tube. This can happen when the tip of the catheter slips out of the vein, causing the fluids to escape the tube. This can cause reactions such as swelling, burning sensation in the area and pain. The IV infiltration treatment includes the following steps:
- Stopping the infusion,
- Removing the IV carefully,
- Marking the affected area with a marker,
- Applying hot and cold compress based on the type of IV fluid (that has infiltrated),
- Elevate the extremity,
- Inject medication into the subcutaneous tissue.
Apart from medical needs, people can opt for IV vitamin therapy to meet their requirements without ingesting food (yeah, this is happening!). Usually, celebrities and pop stars are trendsetters when it comes to skin and lifestyle trends.
Reports have always shown icons such as Madonna and Rihanna choosing IV therapies to get a boost of energy. Their requirement is justified as rigorous training for global shows and keeping up with the stage life can be exhausting. Look at us, after a day’s work behind a desktop we cannot even think of cooking something healthy to fuel ourselves. Why would multimillionaires think twice for their dose of nutrition?
Pros and Cons of IV Vitamin Therapy
There are several pros and cons of getting IV vitamin therapy. The warning that people must pay heed to before arranging an IV drip for themselves is that only under expert supervision.
The requirement for an IV therapy can only be decided by the doctor as it is a last resort for rehydration or supplementation of vitamins.
The potential benefit of IV hydration therapy is known to be quick supply of necessary nutrients. Also, the replenishment of the fluids (hydration therapy) which is lost due to medical conditions. The main cause of IV hydration therapy is loss of electrolytes due to severe dehydration. This can be due to excessive vomiting, diarrhea, urination or sweating- all of which result in the loss of water.
Even athletes undergoing strict training require quick rehydration. They often rely on IV hydration therapy for quick rehydration during intense training.
In the US alone, people do not realize they have vitamin deficiencies. During the peak of Covid infections, people were reaching out to their physicians and finding out they were deficient in certain vitamins. Doctors prescribe vitamin therapy to cope with such infections.
The harms associated with either of the two approaches are rare and may happen only if an expert has not administered it.
This was all on IV therapy and the seven top uses of the procedure. The use of this therapy is treating ailments such as dehydration, deficiency of nutrients or minerals, and vitamin deficiencies or for medical conditions. An expert is usually responsible for administering medications or vitamins through starting an IV.