Why do we give IV fluids at a slow rate? It seems like common sense to us that the faster a patient is moved to the intensive care unit, the better the chance that he or she will survive the trauma or illness and we often give fluids intravenously throughout the course of treatment until we have the patient in stable condition once again. While this is indeed true in most situations, there are some exceptions to this rule.
In some instances the life support system may have been in place before the patient arrived at the hospital or the work hospital. In these instances, the hospital has developed a detailed work plan for the care of each of their injured or ill patients, which may not include a specific work hospital protocol. If it does not, the pharmacist working on the pharmacology floor may have a limited amount of information regarding which medications these patients need and when they need to be taken.
On the other hand, some life support units have been in place for years. Unfortunately, not every hospital has the resources to be able to rapidly train their pharmacists to handle the increased demands of such a specialized job. If they do have such a program in place, the staff may have only been trained for staff levels just sufficient to handle night shifts and the early morning hours, when many of these accidents occur. This is a critical area because the staff must be able to work with patients even after they are no longer ill in order to prevent the recurrence of trauma as well as illnesses such as cancer or hepatitis that can occur from contact with contaminated blood.
Some critics of hospital pharmacology programs question the necessity to provide intravenous fluids to patients who have likely been receiving such fluids throughout their lives. The argument is that if the fluid has been around for such a long time, there is no reason why it should suddenly become a problem. However, this is not the case. The immune system builds up resistance to antibiotics-or any drug for that matter-over time, so that the body becomes increasingly unable to fight infection.
In addition, some doctors argue that it is not healthy for patients to have a compromised immune system. If it is compromised to the point that the body cannot fight infection, the patient’s overall health suffers as a result. In fact, a weak immune system makes it more likely for serious medical complications to occur. Some cancers are thought to be associated with a low immune system, as are a number of infectious diseases.
There are also questions raised as to whether or not IV fluids are even necessary. Doctors who work with children say that while some children have not developed adequate immunity against diseases such as HIV, AIDs and some others, they are probably still healthy enough to receive IV fluids. Other doctors argue that the treatment has not been proven to do any good. This is due primarily to the fact that most of the studies that have been performed on this topic have involved healthy adults. Studies on children have not been nearly as statistically accurate due to the fact that there is not enough information available for children to be studied.
One reason why we give IV fluids is because of how effective it can be at fighting infection. IV fluids contain an array of antigens and other substances that attack harmful bacteria, viruses and parasites. If given in sufficient doses, these substances can significantly reduce the amount of time that an infection is present. It can also prevent infections from coming back after the patient leaves the hospital, which reduces the amount of pain and suffering that their family goes through. It can also reduce the number of days that a patient requires a stay in the hospital, which can make their recovery that much easier.
When you consider all of the benefits associated with this treatment option, it is easy to see why so many people turn to it when they are suffering from a cold or some type of infection. The fluid can help to restore a damaged immune system, which can improve a person’s health dramatically. In order for IV fluids to be effective, a person must be intravenous in order to introduce the fluid into their body. If a person has a compromised immune system already, IV fluids may be more effective than other treatments.