Intravenous (IV) therapy is one of the most common medical procedures, and fluids administered through an IV can treat a variety of conditions, including dehydration, blood disorders, and infections. However, there are many types of IV fluids to know about, and you need to understand them to know their benefits. Read on to learn more about these IV fluids and how they strengthen your body and lead to recovery.
Crystalloid vs. Colloid Fluids
Before diving into the specific types of IV fluids, we need to go over the basic distinction between crystalloid and colloid fluids. Crystalloid fluids are water-based solutions that contain electrolytes that easily move across semi-permeable membranes.
On the other hand, colloid fluids contain larger, insoluble molecules, such as proteins, which remain in the intravascular compartment surrounding the tissue, contributing to plasma volume and pressure. The type of fluid chosen for IV therapy largely depends on the medical condition, the patient’s overall health, and the specific goal of the treatment.
1. Normal Saline Solution
Normal saline solution is a sterile crystalloid solution of sodium chloride (salt) in water, with a concentration of 0.9 percent. Most people use it to replenish fluids and electrolytes in the body and for flushing intravenous lines. Normal saline is isotonic, meaning it has the same concentration of salt as the body’s cells, making it ideal for fluid resuscitation.
2. Dextrose Solution
Dextrose solution is a colloid solution of dextrose (sugar) dissolved in water, with a concentration ranging from 5 percent to 50 percent. This solution is a common type of IV fluid used to treat low blood sugar levels and dehydration and as a source of calories when a patient can’t eat or drink. Dextrose solution is hypotonic, meaning it has a lower concentration of salt than the body’s cells. Be careful when using it to avoid hyponatremia and low salt levels in the blood.
3. Lactated Ringer’s Solution
Lactated Ringer’s solution is a crystalloid sterile solution that contains sodium, potassium, calcium, and lactate in water. It corrects electrolyte imbalances and dehydration during surgery for people with low blood volume or pressure. Lactated Ringer’s solution is isotonic, making it ideal for fluid therapy.
4. Plasma-Lyte Solution
Plasma-Lyte solution is a balanced crystalloid electrolyte solution that contains sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. It works well for fluid resuscitation, electrolyte replacement, and maintenance fluid therapy. Plasma-Lyte is isotonic and is beneficial for patients with severe fluid or electrolyte imbalances, helping them feel more hydrated and energized.
Intravenous therapy is a critical aspect of medical treatment, and understanding the different types of IV fluids available is crucial to providing proper care to patients. Always ensure that you understand the medication before undergoing IV therapy to feel more assured of its benefits. Consider using some of our IV packages, including IV fluids, to enrich and rehydrate your body today.