What is an IV?

Intravenous Therapy (or IV Therapy for short) is the infusion of liquid substances in to a vein (Intravenous means: in vein). IV’s may be used to correct electrolyte imbalances, deliver medications, blood transfusion or as simple fluid delivery to correct, for example, dehydration. IV Therapy can also be used for chemotherapy. Approximately 40% of all medications administered are given intravenously.

IV Therapy is still the fastest way, and current status quo, to deliver fluids and medications to the human body.

What’s considered standard risk?

Inherently an injection causes pain and could lead to other complications such as the risk of infection. Issues common to these types of skin breaks and vein access are the potential for infiltration, phlebitis, and other associated infection risks, Alternatively risk of dislodgment of the IV itself poses a risk; which can fall anywhere between 10% – 25% of all IV’s becoming accidentally dislodged due to tension based events.

Are there other resources I can look in to?

There is no shortage of resources to learn more about IV therapy. A few have been listed below for reference:

Infusion Nurses Society – www.ins1.org

Association for Vascular Access – www.avainfo.org

Royal College of Nursing – Standards for Infusion Therapy – www.rcn.org.uk

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