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What is intravenous therapy?

What is intravenous therapy?

Intravenous therapy

Intravenous therapy replaces electrolytes and fluid, refills blood volume, and provides medications. IV fluids and medications enter the bloodstream of a patient directly via a vein. They act fast within the body’s system to deliver medications and restore the volume of fluids. Once the medication penetrates the vein, the action can’t be terminated. Therefore, it’s necessary to correctly prepare the intravenous fluid or medication, properly calculate the dose, and dispense your patient safely.

This article will give an intravenous therapy’s overview, explaining its use and narrating its development historically. From its launch to its extensive clinics and hospitals today, intravenous therapy has accomplished a lot. Hire our nursing assignment help if you are overwhelmed with your paper.

Intravenous Therapy Definition

IV Therapy refers to a medical strategy that includes liquid substances directly injected into the vein of a patient. This method enables effective and quick body absorption, bypassing the system of digestion. Intravenous therapy is generally used for administering medications, providing hydration fluids, and delivering essential patient nutrients.

It provides several pros over other administration routes. Direct bloodstream delivery allows for fast absorption, ensuring that fluids and medications are effective quickly. This procedure also gives precise dosing, enabling healthcare professionals to manage the fluid or medication amount being administered. In addition, intravenous therapy enables immediate bloodstream access, making it a priceless emergency tool.

History of Intravenous Therapy

The intravenous therapy concept dates back centuries, with early attempts to administer fluids via veins dating to the seventeenth century. Nevertheless, it was not till the early twentieth century that important advancements were introduced in intravenous therapy.

In the year 1656, the English architect, Christopher Wren carried out  fluid injection experiments into animal veins. While the experiments were innovative at that time, the infection risk and scarcity of appropriate equipment hindered further progress.

It was not until the nineteenth century that remarkable progress was established in IV infusion. In the year 1831, Scottish physician, Thomas Latta, competently used intravenous therapy to treat cholera patients. Latta’s work created the path for IV Therapy’s further advancements.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, suitable techniques and equipment development further pushed forward the IV therapy field. The metal needles and glass syringe introduction enabled more precise and safer injections. In the year 1923, the initial blood transfusion with the use of the vein-to-vein method was successfully conducted, marking IV therapy’s history as a big milestone.

Intravenous infusion became broadly applied in 1950s as a result of the disposable plastic intravenous infusion catheters development, which rendered the procedure convenient and safer.

Common Intravenous Therapy Uses

Intravenous therapy is generally applied in healthcare management for numerous purposes. Among the most general applications is medication administration. Most medications, including chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, and pain relievers are dispensed intravenously for more effective and faster results.

It’s also applied for hydration purposes. Patients who can’t take liquids orally or need large fluid amounts quickly, like those with particular surgical patients or severe dehydration, can profit from intravenous hydration.

Intravenous infusion is also necessary for providing patients who can’t take food orally nutrition. (TPN) Total parenteral nutrition is a specialized IV therapy form that distributes a balanced nutrient mixture into the blood circulation directly, making sure that patients get the required nourishment.

Furthermore, intravenous therapy is important in the transfusion of blood. By directly gaining access to blood circulation, intravenous therapy enables safe and efficient blood product transfusion, like platelets, red blood cells, and plasma.

Intravenous therapy procedure

Administering the IV therapy process involves a few steps to guarantee effective and safe fluids or medication delivery. The initial step is selecting the appropriate insertion vein. Healthcare professionals normally choose wrist, arm, or hand veins that are simply accessible and with a good flow of blood.

Once you select the vein, the health care provider cleans that area using a disinfectant solution to minimize the infection risk. A tiny needle, inclined to an adjustable plastic tube known as the catheter, is afterward inserted into the vein of the patient. You then remove the needle, leaving a catheter in position for fluids or medication administration.

After a catheter is put in place, the healthcare provider verifies actual placement by monitoring for the return of blood. Once verified, the fluid or medication is slowly administered into a catheter with syringe use or connected to the intravenous bag for continual infusion.

All through, the process of administration, healthcare providers closely check the condition of the patient and regulate the dosage or rate of flow as required. After the intravenous therapy is completed, a catheter is carefully detached, and the site of insertion is wrapped with a sterilized dressing.

Nursing responsibilities for IV therapy

While intravenous therapy is generally secure, there are a few health considerations that medical care professionals should comply with. Accurate sterile technique and hand hygiene are necessary to reduce the infection risk. Medical care professionals must wear gloves and make use of antiseptic solutions while performing intravenous insertions or handling catheters.

It is critical to regularly check the patient’s key signs and evaluate for any adverse reactions or complications signs. IV therapy potential complications involve infection, infiltration (while the liquid spills into the tissues surrounding), air embolism (while air accesses the blood circulation), and phlebitis (vein inflammation).

To reduce severe complications, healthcare providers should follow maintenance techniques and proper insertion. Regular IV catheter flushing with heparin or saline is essential to prevent the formation of clots and ensure patency.

What are the two types of IV therapy?

There are two main intravenous therapy types known as IV Drip and IV Push.

The major differences include treatment duration and the injected fluids amount.

Both IV Drip and IV Push treatments enable 90-100% absorption of vitamins.

1.      An intravenous Drip

It’s the intravenous treatment type that is slowly instilled into the blood circulation through the plastic catheter injected into a vein.

To dispense an intravenous therapy Drip, an undersized catheter (plastic tube) is instilled into the vein with the use of a needle. It is then removed quickly when the catheter advances into the patient’s vein.

Intravenous drips are conducted for forty-five to sixty minutes and two hundred and fifty to one thousand ml of liquids are administered per session normally.

In the course of a drip, patients can relax, read, or work.

2.      An intravenous Push

An intravenous push is administered into the vein slowly through a previously placed plastic tube catheter.

Intravenous pushes are conducted for fifteen to twenty minutes and thirty to sixty ml of liquids are administered into the vein slowly.

Because of the process nature, intravenous pushes are monitored by specialists always.

The IV Drip Contents

An IV drip’s contents will differ based on the medication being administered. Since an intravenous drip delivers medications and fluids into the blood circulation promptly, they normally contain:

  • Saline solution: Salt and water sterile solution that is applied to maintain the body’s electrolyte balance and provide hydration.
  • Glucose solution: Glucose (sugar) and water sterile solution that provides the body’s energy.
  • Nutrients: Intravenous drips might also contain various nutrients including amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that are needed for the proper function of the body.

During hospital admissions, the intravenous drip contents might differ a bit. While it might still contain the above-mentioned fluids it might also have:

  • Medications: Based on the treatment condition, various medications might be included in the intravenous drip for pain, infection, nausea, or various other health issues.
  • Blood components: In a few cases, intravenous drips use blood for restoring factors like platelets, red blood cells, or plasma to assist with conditions such as bleeding disorders, anemia, or in case of the patient’s injury and loss of blood.
  • Contrast agents: Medical imaging substances to boost certain structure’s visibility or the body fluids. Sometimes they’re delivered via an intravenous drip throughout imaging procedures such as MRIs and CT scans.

The Vitamin Cocktails Used in Intravenous Therapy

Commonly observed intravenous vitamin therapy ingredients are zinc, Vitamin C, calcium, B vitamins, and magnesium.

Intravenous vitamin drips might also have antioxidants and amino acids, like glutathione.

Vitamin therapies may contain a vitamin – such as Vitamin C- or a minerals and vitamins cocktail.

The common drips for intravenous vitamin cocktails for your paper writing are:

The Typical Vitamin IV Drips

  • Myers Cocktail Intravenous
  • Immunity Booster Intravenous
  • Anti-aging + NAD intravenous therapy
  • Hydration Intravenous Drip
  • Detoxification Booster Intravenous Infusion

The IV Therapy Benefits

Among the main intravenous therapy benefits is that it’s fast, more efficient results without digestive tract side effects, potency loss, or absorption issues.

The process enables the infusion of nutrients into your blood circulation, bypassing the gastrointestinal tract and enabling you to get more energy, enjoy a good mood, and have clear thoughts.

IV benefits will vary based on the treatment condition, the used protocol, the patient’s overall health, and the number of treatments done. Some of these benefits are:

  • Stronger immunity (resisting flu or cold)
  • Boosted mood
  • Improved sports recovery period
  • Extra energy
  • Improved concentration and mental focus
  • Increased relaxation and calmness
  • Balanced blood glucose
  • Enhanced sleep patterns
  • Enhanced jet lag
  • Enhanced hangover
  • Reduced migraines instances
  • Hormonal imbalance and boosted fertility
  • Enhanced complexion
  • Reduced aging signs


Intravenous therapy has emerged to be a modern medicine cornerstone with its significant advancements and rich history. From its small commencement to its general use in clinics and hospitals today, IV infusion has transformed nursing care.

By comprehending the evolution and origins of intravenous therapy, we’ll appreciate its vast healthcare impact. The capability to deliver blood components, administer medications, provide nutrition, and hydrate patients via IV therapy has improved countless lives as well as saved countless others.

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