I V Therapy

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* Intravenous therapy or IV therapy is the infusion of liquid substances directly into a vein. The word intravenous simply means "within a vein". Therapies administered intravenously are often called specialty pharmaceuticals. It is commonly referred to as a drip because many systems of administration employ a drip chamber, which prevents air from entering the blood stream (air embolism), and allows an estimation of flow rate. * Intravenous therapy may be used to correct electrolyte imbalances, to deliver medications, for blood transfusion or as fluid replacement to correct, for example, dehydration. Intravenous therapy can also be used for chemotherapy. When compared with other routes of administration, the intravenous route is the fastest way to deliver fluids and medications throughout the body. Types of IV access

* The Hickman catheter is softer than a simple triple-lumen catheter, and is usually inserted in an operating room. The actual access to the subclavian vein is still by puncture under the clavicle, but the distal end of the catheter is pulled under the skin for 2-4 inches and comes out of the chest close to the nipple. This creates a "tunnel" which decreases the risk of infection. The Hickman catheter, which is made of silastic (a silicone elastomere), comes in double-lumen and triple-lumen varieties. These catheters can stay in place for weeks to months; some patients have had the same Hickman catheter for years! * The Groshong catheter is very similar to the Hickman catheter, but has a valve at the tip of the catheter which makes it unnecessary to leave a high concentration of heparin in the catheter (see below). The Broviac catheter is also similar to the Hickman catheter, but is of smaller size. This catheter is mostly used for pediatric patients. * Pheresis catheters are larger and sturdier than Hickman catheters. Pheresis catheters can also be used for hemodialysis, and are often called "dialysis catheters". The Hickman catheters...
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