What is intravenous therapy ?

Intravenous Therapy
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Your I.V. site: Overview

Medicines or fluids may be given through an intravenous (I.V.) tube inserted into a vein. The I.V. is most often placed in the back of the hand, on the forearm, or on the inside of the elbow.

When the I.V. is in place, medicines or fluids can go quickly into the bloodstream and into the rest of the body. The I.V. can also be used to take blood for testing.

If you had an I.V. while you were in the hospital, the area where it went into your body may be tender for a while.

How can you care for your I.V. site?

  • Check the area for bruising or swelling for a few days after you get home.
  • If you have bruising or swelling, put ice or a cold pack on the area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • Shower or bathe as usual.
  • Be gentle using the area around the I.V. site for a day or two. But you should be able to do your normal activities.

Your I.V. site: When to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have signs of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness or any change in color.
    • Reddish streaks leading from the area.
    • Pus draining from the area.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You notice a lump at the I.V. site.
  • You notice new or worse bruising at the I.V. site.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.