Intravenous Rehydration Introduction
(IV) rehydration is a treatment that is used for moderate to severe cases of
dehydration. Adults rarely require IV treatment for dehydration. Children,
however, are much more likely to get dangerously dehydrated from being ill. IV
treatment is often necessary.
IV rehydration requires sitting still for a period of time, which is not always
easy for children. A few small risks are associated with the treatment. These
include infection or collapsed veins. But the benefits of rehydration outweigh
them, especially when the dehydration is life-threatening.
What Is Intravenous Rehydration?
rehydration is a treatment that involves injecting fluids into the veins. The
fluid solutions may be different depending on the situation, but are usually
water with a little bit of salt or sugar added. The solution is kept in a bag
that is raised up over the patient’s head. The bag is attached to a tube with a
needle on the end. The needle goes into a vein in the arm and the amount of
fluid that goes into the vein is controlled.
Purpose of Intravenous Rehydration
rehydration is a treatment that is used for cases of dehydration. When a person
becomes dehydrated, fluid including water and dissolved salts, called
electrolytes, is lost from the body. For mild cases of dehydration, that loss can
be restored by drinking water or electrolyte solutions, such as sports drinks.
moderate or severe cases of dehydration, the body may not respond to attempts
to rehydrate orally. A doctor, or emergency medical professionals, can decide
whether IV rehydration is needed. Adults may become dehydrated from being sick
or from exercising vigorously without drinking enough water.
often become dehydrated from being sick and having diarrhea, a fever, or
vomiting. When a child is dehydrated, medical attention should be sought as
soon as possible. Children are more quickly and more severely affected by
dehydration than adults are. Children are more likely to need IV dehydration to
restore fluid balance than adults.
What to Expect During Intravenous Rehydration
type of fluid solution required is determined by a medical professional. It
usually depends on a patient’s age, existing medical conditions, and severity
of dehydration. The prepared package of solution is then hung next to the
patient’s bed, and a nurse or doctor prepared them for injection of the fluids.
area into which the IV catheter needle will be inserted is disinfected. The
nurse or doctor then inserts the needle into a vein in the arm and tapes the
needle to the skin to keep it in position. The insertion of the needle feels
like a mild sting, but the pain quickly subsides.
amount of fluid entering the vein may be regulated by a pump or via a manual
adjusted valve attached to the tube. A nurse or doctor checks from time to time
to be sure the rate of fluids is correct and that the site of the needle on the
arm is not leaking or moving. The length of time for the treatment depends on
the severity of the dehydration.
Risks Associated with Intravenous Rehydration
associated with IV rehydration are low for most adults. There is a small risk
of infection occurring at the site of the needle. In most cases, such infections
can be treated easily.
possible risk is creating an imbalance of nutrients in your body if the fluid
solution contains the wrong mix of electrolytes. Caregivers should be
monitoring to determine if an imbalance or deficiency occurs. If it does, it
can be corrected by stopping the fluid or by changing it to a different
needle at the insertion site may become dislodged, which can cause a condition
called infiltration. This means that the fluids go into the tissues around the
vein, rather than into the vein. Infiltration may cause a stinging sensation at
the insertion site and a bruise. The needle can be reinserted and a warm
compress used to reduce swelling. Keeping still during rehydration can help
prevent dislodging. This is especially important in young children, who do not
necessarily understand that they must be still.
a needle needs to remain inserted for a long period of time, it can cause the
vein to collapse. If this happens, the needle will be moved to a different
vein, and a warm compress applied to the collapsed vein.