IV stands for intravenous therapy, “intra-” meaning within or inside and “venous” relating to the veins, IV or intravenous therapy, therefore, refers to a therapy that delivers fluid into veins in the body. IV therapy works by using an injection with a syringe or via infusion, often referred to as a drip. IV therapy is the fastest way to deliver medications, blood products and more into the bloodstream to help with various health conditions such as dehydration and blood transfusions.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Do IV Drips Work?
- 2 What Goes Into an IV?
- 3 Benefits of IV Therapy
- 4 Reasons for IV Therapy
- 5 Is IV therapy safe?
- 6 Who administers the IV?
- 7 What Vitamins and Minerals Can You Get Intravenous?
- 8 How Often Should I get an IV Drip?
- 9 Which are the most popular IV Drips?
- 10 Schedule Your IV Therapy Now
- 11 References
How Do IV Drips Work?
A continuous intravenous infusion (IV) requires a tiny plastic tubing inserted into an artery or vein via a cannula in order to deliver fluids directly into the bloodstream. An IV drip will deliver essential nutrients and fluids such as hydration fluids or vitamins, directly into your bloodstream, bypassing your digestive tract and the nutrition is therefore instantly available to be used by your body’s to cover its health and wellness needs.
At Iv Drip London, the process is like this:
After a quick health assessment, a numbing spray or cream will be applied to the area of venipuncture.
Our nurse will insert a line in your vein called a butterfly catheter. A butterfly catheter consists of a needle and plastic tubing.
Once our nurse accesses your vein, the needle is removed.
The plastic tubing remains inside you to deliver your IV infusion.
The catheter is attached to a bag, which contains your selected drip.
In total, an IV drip takes around 15 to 45 minutes for a complete therapy session and patients can pick up in their daily lives immediately after.
What Goes Into an IV?
Each patient’s IV fluid is selected based on their specific treatment plan.
Because of the wide variety of IV solutions, patients may not fully understand what they are receiving through their IV.
Some IV drips contain electrolytes and salts, while others contain sugars, vitamins, and antioxidants. Each drip differs depending on the health and wellness needs of each patient.
Common IV Ingredients
This is a solution of salt in water and is the most common type of fluid for IVs. A Saline solution is great for dehydration and hangovers since sodium is a type of electrolyte.
The benefits of vitamins and antioxidants are essential, as they can give us a boost of energy, strengthen our immune system, plus so much more.
These essential elements and compounds hydrate our bodies, regulate nerve and muscle function, regulate blood pressure, and more. Besides sodium, your body needs potassium, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, chloride and phosphate, all of which are electrolytes.
IV Fluid Categories
The IV fluids can be categorised as isotonic, hypotonic and hypertonic.
Isotonic IV Fluids
Isotonic IV fluids are used to increase fluid volume due to blood loss, surgery, or dehydration. There are many types of common isotonic fluids, such as
1. Normal Saline (0.9% NaCl, NS)
2. 5% Dextrose in Water (D5W)
3. Lactated Ringer’s Solution (LR)
Hypotonic IV fluids are designed to bring fluid from the bloodstream into the cells and tissues to help in body waste excretion. In other words, they are commonly used to help patients avoid dehydration.
There are many common types of hypotonic fluid, such as:
– 0.45% Normal Saline (Half Normal Saline)
– 0.225% Normal Saline (Quarter Normal Saline)
– 2.5% Dextrose
Hypertonic IV Fluids
Hypertonic IV fluids are used to shift fluids into the bloodstream to dilute electrolytes. Some of these fluids often appear on the list of vesicants. More on those in a moment.
These types of fluids usually contain dextrose, a simple sugar made from corn, that can be used at higher rates to treat diabetics going through severe hypoglycaemia.
Benefits of IV Therapy
There are many reasons why IV therapy is so effective. For example, it provides fast access to medications and nutrients that would otherwise take time to absorb through the digestive tract. Also, since it travels faster than oral therapies, it bypasses the first-pass effect, where the liver processes drugs before they reach the rest of the body. Additionally, IV therapy allows doctors to administer large doses of medication without risking overdosing.
Reasons for IV Therapy
The main reasons someone will need iV therapy include
IV Therapy for Dehydration
Roughly 60% of the human body consists of water. We routinely lose water when we breathe, sweat, urinate, or physically exert ourselves. Factors like spending time outdoors, high temperatures, drinking alcohol, or playing sports cause us to lose more water, increasing the risk of dehydration.
Symptoms of Dehydration
The first and most easily felt symptom of dehydration is thirst. If dehydration continues without countermeasures, the body begins to compensate for the loss of fluid by increasing heart rate and blood pressure to maintain adequate blood flow to organs.
Having an IV During Surgery
Every year, millions of healthcare providers perform inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures, and intravenous (IV) therapy is a key component to surgical procedures. Doctors and nurses use IV therapy to administer anaesthesia, pain medications, antibiotics, fluids, and other vital fluids.
IV Therapy for Malnutrition
Partial parenteral nutrition and total parenteral nutrition (TPN) are methods of feeding that supplies some or all of a patient’s daily nutritional requirements through an IV. Parenteral nutrition can help patients who are unable to meet their nutritional requirements through oral intake alone, this includes patients that do not have a properly functioning gastrointestinal tract or have disorders requiring total bowel rest including short bowel syndrome or severe Crohn’s disease.
Medication Administration Through IV Therapy
Most times, a patient’s medications can be taken by mouth or topically. In some situations, the best or only route is through the vein. IV administration would be the preferred route for many chemotherapy regimens, blood/blood product transfusions, antibiotic/antifungal therapy requiring more potent agents than can be given orally, etc. These infusions can take place inside a hospital, in an outpatient setting or in the home.
IV Therapy for Emergency Medication
In emergency situations, the immediate administering of IV therapy is necessary to combat a patient’s dire conditions. Some situations in which a patient may receive emergency medication, blood or fluids through intravenous therapy
Is IV therapy safe?
Iv drips are considered a routine procedure but like any other medical procedure, there are risks involved. If you are receiving an IV drip, you should discuss IV therapy with your medical team to know exactly what it is and make sure you are aware of possible complications like infiltration, phlebitis, and infection.
Risks of IV therapy
Any injection with a needle is considered invasive and carries a small risk such as mild discomfort, bruising, redness, itching, inflammation, and redness at or around the IV’s site. More serious complications include infiltrations, extravasations, and phlebitis. Symptoms to look out for include severe inflammation (swelling), discolouration, blistering, or a significant amount of pain near or around the IV placement site.
It is important therefore to make sure that the IV is administered by a trained professional using only sterile needles.
Who administers the IV?
Typically, Registered Nurses (RNs) or medical professionals administer a patient’s IV vitamin treatment.
What Vitamins and Minerals Can You Get Intravenous?
Different IV therapy companies develop their own mix of vitamins and minerals to address the different needs of clients.
Myers’ Cocktail is a popular option due to its range of ingredients and its positive effects.
Myers’ cocktail contains the following vitamins and minerals in addition to saline.
Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B complex, including vitamin B12, plays a role in multiple bodily functions like blood sugar control, metabolism and the production of energy. It can help you feel refreshed and revitalized whether you’re sick, hungover or just feel under the weather.
B complex may also help prevent migraines or stop them more quickly once they’ve started. B12 can even help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety caused by a deficiency in this vitamin.
Vitamin C is essential for good health. Your bones, blood vessels and skin all require vitamin C to stay healthy, and it is a powerful antioxidant as well. Vitamin C intake is especially critical when you are sick or feeling like you’re about to come down with something, as it supports healthy immune system function. When you are deficient in vitamin C, it’s easier to get sick and stay sick for longer.
Glutathione is an antioxidant with several functions in the body. This compound is essential in:
- Forming DNA
- Supporting the immune system
- Breaking down certain free radicals
- Facilitating the function of certain enzymes
- Regenerating vitamin C and vitamin E
Zinc has many jobs in keeping you healthy. It can help keep skin healthy and even assist in the healing of wounds. Zinc also supports the immune system by activating T cells and can even treat the common cold. Multiple studies have shown that taking zinc as soon as possible after the onset of a cold can reduce the duration of the illness by up to 40% in otherwise healthy individuals.
Hundreds of enzymes rely on magnesium to work, making it essential to overall health. The functions of magnesium have positive effects for:
- Bone health
- Calcium absorption
- Heart health
Increased magnesium intake can even help reduce symptoms of anxiety in those who are deficient.
How Often Should I get an IV Drip?
The frequency of the IV vitamin administration depends on the needs of the individual clients, but for preventative health and wellness, we recommend two IV drips per month, as this will help to balance out any vitamin deficiencies.
Schedule Your IV Therapy Now
If you’re interested in trying out IV therapy for yourself, IV Drip London is here to make the process comfortable and convenient with our in-home services. Our team of RNs are trained in expertly assessing your needs and providing recommendations when requested, so you receive the optimal treatment in the safest manner. To learn more about our IV therapy services in London and schedule your appointment, please get in touch.
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