What is the Purpose of IV Therapy?
The Many Uses of IV Therapy
IV therapy, or intravenous therapy, delivers fluids, medications, or vitamins directly into the veins of the body. It is the fastest way to deliver blood products, vitamins, medications, or other necessary fluids directly into a person’s circulatory system. IV therapy is dispensed through an intravenous catheter, either through an injection with a syringe or infusion (also referred to as a “drip”).
After the IV therapist sets the IV they will monitor the patient to make sure the IV stays in place and that the patient is getting the correct dosage of fluids. An IV therapist monitors the IV continually so that they can easily adjust the dosage in the case of side effects or reactions in the patient. Many RNs or LPNs choose to train as IV therapists.
A Brief History of IV therapy
Today, IV therapy is used both as a lifesaving therapeutic treatment, and in wellness therapy such as vitamin IV therapy, but this wasn’t always the case. Blood therapy has been around since ancient times, when blood was viewed as a therapeutic substance in itself and the bloodletting of infirm people was a popular practice. Unfortunately the medical understanding of blood, blood types, and infectious agents like pyrogens, as well as the lack of materials like plastics held IV therapy back for centuries.
Early IV Therapies
IV therapy was first attempted in the early 17th century, but the results weren’t great, and it was abandoned for more reliable methods for the next two centuries. In the 19th century, IV therapy was attempted again, but a poor understanding of blood typing and blood groups made it a last resort only used in very critical cases.
The Advent of Plastics
During WWI and WWII IV therapy became a viable treatment, and with the advent of plastic bags and plastic IV catheters, IV therapy finally took its place as the lifesaving and highly beneficial therapeutic treatment it is today.
Types of IV Therapies
There are three main types of IV therapy: Blood administrative IV therapy, drug administrative IV therapy, and fluid administrative IV therapy.
IV Hydration or Fluid Therapy
If you are in an accident or other scenario where you lose a lot of blood, you might get an IV containing fluids to replace missing blood volume. Or you might get an IV with fluids to keep you hydrated if you are too sick to keep down fluid, or dehydrated for other reasons.
IV Blood Transfusion
If you lose too much blood or your red blood cell count dips too low, you might receive a blood transfusion. Blood transfusions are also given through an IV.
IV Pain Medication
If you need pain medication, you can be given what is called an IV push, an injection of pain medication into an IV catheter. You can also receive medicine like antibiotics through an IV, that can be added onto an existing IV. This is called piggy back or secondary additive. It is a popular method for medications that are beneficial to keep in the bloodstream over time, such as antibiotics in the case of an infection.
The Myers Cocktail
The Myers cocktail is an IV infusion therapy used as a general wellness remedy and hangover cure. It was invented by John Myers in the 1960s and contains vitamins and minerals that increase wellbeing when a person feels run down, such as the day after a night of drinking. It is sometimes a popular offering in boutique IV clinics. IV therapy can also correct electrolyte and vitamin deficiencies in heavy drinkers that suffer from acute ethanol toxicity after an alcohol binge.
IV Therapy in Sports
IV hydration therapy used to be popular with athletes, but new rules from the World Anti-Doping Agency have made IV injections of more than 100mL per 12 hours illegal for athletes, because of the potential for changing blood test results, masking urine test results, or even administering illegal substances to improve sports performance. Outside of these criteria, IV therapy is a viable option for recovery and wellness for athletes who regularly push their bodies to the limit.
IV Therapy in the Health and Wellness Industry
Many people, whether athletes, young or elderly, can benefit from IV therapies such as vitamin infusions to promote overall wellness and support long and healthy lives. Health and wellness centers often offer IV infusion therapy as part of their services, both as treatment of acute medical conditions and for clients who want to reach their health goals.
Get Started on Your Health and Wellness Journey
IntraVenous (IV) Infusion Therapy can be used to treat multiple acute injuries or nutritional deficiencies. At Benessair Health, we offer intravenous treatments for vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are delivered directly into the bloodstream. Whether you are interested in infusion therapy for your fitness goals, general wellness, or to fight off that nasty hangover, start your wellness journey with Benessair Health today! Contact us to learn more about all the wellness options available to you at Benessair Health.