What are IV fluids?
Intravenous fluids are sterile solutions similar to the liquid part of the blood. Many types of IV fluids are made for use in various types of illnesses and injuries. Why are IV fluids used? Many critically ill patients have decreased body fluids (dehydration) or inadequate fluid circulating in the blood stream. Intravenous fluids help to restore body fluids and circulating blood volume. Do IV fluids hurt? Placement of an IV catheter may sting but use of IV fluids usually does not hurt. Sometimes special nutrients or medications are added to the IV fluid. A few of these may burn or hurt when infused. Potassium is an example. The nurse closely monitors infusing IV fluids to prevent any pain from occurring. Sometimes an IV catheter comes out of the vein and IV fluid may be infused under the skin. Patients usually complain of swelling and discomfort if this occurs. How long are IV fluids used? Intravenous fluids are used as long as the patient’s body fluids or blood volume is low. Even af