What is IV Therapy?
Intravenous therapy (IV) delivers liquid substances directly into a vein. The term “intravenous” actually means “into the vein.” This can be done with simple injections, intravenous medications, and blood transfusions. The intravenous option is the fastest way to deliver medications and fluid replacement throughout the body, as they are injected directly into the bloodstream and immediately circulated throughout the body. IV therapy can be much more efficient at delivering medications, replacing depleted fluids, correcting imbalances, or even antibiotic therapy.
The IV Therapy Department at Summit Healthcare offers comprehensive IV therapy services in a comfortable setting.
IV Therapy Services
At Summit Healthcare, we provide all necessary IV therapy services. They include:
- Antibiotic therapy
- Injections such as Lovenox, vitamin B12, rabies, shingles, Xolair, and Neupogen
- IV push medications such as Lasix
- Blood transfusions
- Multiple sclerosis treatment
- IVIG infusions
- Reclast for osteoporosis
- Pre and post infusions for radiology procedures
- Procrit injections and monitoring
- Lab draw from PICCS and ports
- Port flushes and maintenance
- Central line care and maintenance
Candidates for Intravenous Therapy
From an electrolyte-depleted athlete to a vitamin B12 deficient patient, from shingles injections to blood transfusions, just about everyone will need or make use of IV therapy at some point in their life. While situations such as blood transfusions often are emergency situations, others, such as infusions surrounding radiology procedures are ongoing.
You may have heard of IV therapy in the form of various nutrient “cocktails” that are theoretically intended to address fatigue, stress, even hangovers. While these infusions could have some benefit, that is not what the IV Therapy Department at Summit Healthcare delivers, so we seek to avoid any misunderstanding about that. Our IV treatments are all medical, not aesthetic.
Benefits of IV Therapy
Delivering medications through IV therapy provides various benefits for our Summit Healthcare patients, but we can break them down into three categories: control, speed, and efficiency.
- Control — IV medication is often used because of the control it allows over the patient dosage. If a patient needs to receive the medication as soon as possible, such as in the case of a heart attack, stroke, or poisoning, there isn’t time for the patient to take pills or liquid orally. IV therapy delivers the medication quickly, directly into the bloodstream.
- Speed — Sometimes drugs must be given constantly, but at a very slow administration rate. IV therapy is perfect for this scenario, as a slow drip IV continues to deliver a small, but constant dose of the medication.
- Efficiency — Certain drugs are given by IV because if the patient took them orally the enzymes in the stomach or liver would break them down, affecting their strength and efficiency when they finally made it to the bloodstream.
How Does IV Therapy Work?
At Summit Healthcare, we use standard IV lines for short-term needs. They may be used for short hospital stays to administer medication during surgery or to give pain medication or antibiotics. These lines can typically be used up to four days.
With a standard IV, a needle is inserted into a vein in the wrist, elbow, or the back of the hand. A catheter is pushed over the needle into the vein, and the needle is removed. These IV catheters deliver IV medications in two ways:
- IV push — This is a rapid injection. A syringe is inserted into the catheter and quickly delivers a one-time dosage of medication.
- IV infusion — This is a controlled administration of medication over time. IV infusions use either a pump or gravity to regulate the medication flow.
- Pump infusion: A pump is attached to the IV line and it sends medication and usually a sterile saline solution into the catheter in a slow, steady manner. The dosage and delivery speed can be precisely controlled.
- Drip infusion: This method simply allows gravity to do the work. The bag with the medication and solution is placed above the patient on a rack and gravity pushes it downward into the catheter. The flow is regulated by a manual valve.
Central Venous Catheters
When the medication needs to be delivered over a longer period of time, a central venous catheter (CVC) is used. A CVC is inserted into a vein in the neck, chest, arm, or groin area. These catheters can be used for a longer period of time, staying in place for several weeks or even months.
There are three main types of CVCs:
- Peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) — A PICC has a long line that sends medication from the area of insertion, usually in a vein above the patient’s elbow, through the blood vessels, all the way to a vein near the heart.
- Tunneled catheter — One end of this catheter is placed into a vein in the neck or chest in a brief surgical procedure. The remainder of the catheter is tunneled through the body, with the other end coming out through the skin. Medications are given into that end.
- Implanted port — This is like a tunneled catheter, expect the implanted port is located completely beneath the skin. To deliver the medication, the healthcare provider injects it through the skin into the port.
Does Insurance Cover IV Therapy?
Our hours of service are Monday – Friday, 7:30 am – 4:30 pm. We offer extended hours and weekend appointments as needed. For more information call Summit Healthcare at 928.537.6363. Our practice serves Show Low, Snowflake, and surrounding areas in Arizona.