Intravenous therapy or IV therapy is the administration of liquid substances directly into a vein. It can be intermittent or continuous; continuous administration is called an intravenous drip. The word intravenous simply means “within a vein”, but is most commonly used to refer to IV therapy. Considered faster-acting than oral or other forms of medication, intravenous or IV therapy allows medicine to reach the heart quickly, as well as circulate through the body extremely fast. Correct use of intravenous therapy should only be done by a medical professional unless otherwise indicated.<br />
Why is intravenous therapy used?<br /><ul><li>Used to rehydrated severely malnourished patients.
Used to deliver electrolytes, nutrients, and water to the body.
Used to increase blood sugar levels for someone who suffers a sudden drop in blood pressure.
Can be used for emergency delivery of drugs, or proper dosage of medication over intervals.
Blood and plasma can also be transfused through an IV, in the case of blood loss.</li></li></ul><li>Click on the link below to view a video demonstration on how to insert an iv catheter!<br />http://vimeo.com/10504779<br />In most cases, an IV is inserted into a peripheral vein, typically in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. Many modern IV systems use a small catheter that contains a needle. The needle pierces the skin, the catheter is placed underneath the skin, and the needle is withdrawn. After the catheter is in place, patients are given a syringe injection or hooked up to an IV drip that delivers fluids or medication over time.<br />
Types of IV lines<br />Peripheral IV line<br /><ul><li>Peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC)
PICC lines are used when intravenous access is required over a prolonged period of time. </li></ul>Central IV line<br /><ul><li>Central IV lines flow through a catheter with its tip within a large vein.
Several advantages over a peripheral IV</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>It can deliver fluids and medications that would be overly irritating to peripheral veins because of their concentration or chemical composition.
Medications reach the heart immediately, and are quickly distributed to the rest of the body.
There is room for multiple parallel compartments within the catheter, so that multiple medications can be delivered at once even if they would not be chemically compatible within a single tube.</li></ul>Advantages of Central IV Lines<br />
The peripheral IV line is the most common intravenous access method in both hospitals and paramedic services. A peripheral IV line consists of a short catheter ( a few centimeters long) inserted through the skin into a peripheral vein. A peripheral vein is any vein that is not in the chest or abdomen.<br />
An intravenous drip is the continuous infusion of fluids, with or without medications, through an IV access device. This may be to correct dehydration or an electrolyte imbalance, to deliver medications, or for blood transfusion. <br />Intravenous Drip<br />
IV Fluids<br />There are two types of fluids that are used for IV drips; crystalloids and colloids.<br /><ul><li>Crystalloids are aqueous solutions of mineral salts or other water-soluble molecules.
Colloids contain larger insoluble molecules, such as gelatin; blood itself is a colloid.</li></ul>The most commonly used crystalloid fluid is normal saline, a solution of sodium chloride at 0.9% concentration, which is close to the concentration in blood. <br />
Infusion Equipment <br />A standard IV infusion set consists of ….<br /><ul><li>A pre-filled, sterile container (glass bottle, plastic bottle or plastic bag) of fluids with an attached drip chamber which allows the fluid to flow one drop at a time, making it easy to see the flow rate
A long sterile tube with a clamp to regulate or stop the flow
Connectors to allow piggybacking of another infusion set onto the same line (adding a dose of antibiotics to a continuous fluid drip) .</li></li></ul><li>Infiltration<br />Infiltration can occur when the tip of the IV catheter withdraws from the vein or pokes through the vein into surrounding tissue,or when the vein wall becomes permeable and leaks fluid (in this instance it is said that the cannula has tissued).It occurs frequently with peripheral IVs, and requires replacement of the IV at a different location. The symptoms of pain and swelling are temporary and not dangerous, unless giving a highly irritating medication.<br />
<ul><li>Careful training is required to ensure the proper insertion and monitoring of intravenous therapy.
For those undergoing IV treatments that last for several days, care must be taken to ensure that the veins are not overused.
Veins are subject to infection and irritation from prolonged IV use, and many IV therapists will usually change the location of the IV every day or two to prevent damage.
Precision in implanting the needle must also be done carefully; missing the vein and hitting an artery can lead to serious medical complications.</li></li></ul><li>Sources<br /><ul><li>"Central IV Line." Google. Web. 14 Feb 2011.
Ellis, Jessica. "What is Intravenous Therapy." Wise Geek. N.p., 01 Feb 2011. Web. 14 Feb 2011.