How much do you know about IV therapy?By Beth McGee
When it comes to handling a broad spectrum of medical issues—from dehydration to chemotherapy—IV therapy is typically part of the treatment plan. But despite its widespread use, many patients don’t know what an IV actually does.
How much do you really know about IV therapy?
Take our quick quiz for the lowdown on IVs in case you find yourself or a family member in the hospital. Don’t worry, our friends at the health resource myIV.com weighed in with all the answers on their cheat sheet, and we’re not keeping score!
1. IV stands for
A. Intravenous therapy
C. Intra Viral Infection
2. An IV carries which of the following?
D. All of the above
3. True or False: 3 out of 5 U.S. hospital patients receive an IV.
4. True or False: Healthcare providers can numb the skin before inserting an IV.
5. What are possible symptoms of a complication when receiving IV treatment?
C. Redness/ Itching
D. All of the above
6. The current IV failure rate is _____
D. None of the above
7. What is the earliest age that an individual can receive IV treatment?
B. 1 year old
C. 10 years old
D. 18 years old
8. How can a parent check their child’s IV for a possible problem?
A. Touch around the IV site to ensure that the area is warm and dry
B. Look at the IV to see that it is dry, uncovered and not red
C. Compare the size of the other hand or foot to see they are the same size
D. All of these are strategies for checking a child’s IV
1. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but IV stands for Intravenous Therapy, (A). Think of your veins as the express lane on the highway, the fastest passageway into the body. An IV takes advantage of this route by using a vein to quickly introduce fluids, blood or medication into a patient’s system.
2. IVs can carry a variety of things including blood, medication and fluids, so give yourself a gold star if you answered All of the Above, (D). What are some examples, you ask? Oftentimes IVs are used to perform blood transfusions, to fight off infections using antibiotics, or to prevent dehydration by administering fluids.
3. False, it’s even higher! Four out of five hospital patients in the United States wind up receiving an IV—for those math wizzes out there, that’s 80%. Starting to see why knowing about IVs is a good idea?
4. Good news for little ones afraid of the prick—this is True. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider about skin numbing options, as these often lessen discomfort during insertion, and might just prevent an onset of tears from your kiddo.
5. Read the whole list, because it’s All Of The Above, (D). Swelling, Bruising, Redness, and Itching are all common symptoms of a complication when receiving an IV. If any of these symptoms catch your eye, it’s best to immediately notify your child’s healthcare provider.
6. As a parent, you never want to hear the word “failure” when it comes to your child’s health, but unfortunately, many IVs do fail. In fact, the failure rate comes in at 50%, (C).
7. While it might seem shocking that even the littlest babies can be treated with an IV, even a Newborn, (A) can receive IV therapy. Babies in the neonatal intensive care unit often get fluids or nutrition this way. Don’t be alarmed if you see an IV inserted in one of the veins on a baby’s scalp—this can be the easiest place to insert the IV because the veins are more visible.
8. All of these are strategies for checking a child’s IV, (D). While your medical provider should be checking a child’s IV regularly, it never hurts for the parent to also keep an eye on it. Just remember, TLC—touch, look, compare!
We’ve just scratched the surface on IV therapy. If you’d like to dive deeper, visit myiv.com. The online resource has the answers you need, so that you can be your child’s health advocate when it comes to receiving treatment with IV therapy.
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