We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are Intravenous Solutions?

By T. Broderick
Updated Jan 21, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Intravenous solutions are medications delivered through intravenous (IV) therapy. A number of solutions exist, from simple saline to expensive chemotherapy medication. No matter the medication, using intravenous solutions can cause certain complications in patients.

One of the simplest and most commonly used intravenous solutions is saline. Medical saline is a solution of water and salt that has the same salinity as human blood. It has three uses; the first is to raise blood pressure where needed. The second is to act as a solvent for other medication. The third is to replenish fluids when a patient cannot drink water.

Another common medication delivered in intravenous solutions is antibiotics. In many cases, the infection has progressed to a point that requires hospitalization. Delivery through intravenous solution allows a constant infusion of antibiotic medication, an advantage when compared to oral antibiotics where effectiveness varies throughout the course of the day. This difference can be life-saving in cases where oral antibiotics have failed to halt an infection.

For individuals who experience blood loss as the result of an accident or another event, a blood transfusion is a necessary treatment to save a patient's life. Blood transfusions are a necessity during many surgical procedures as well. It is possible to extend the use of donated blood by mixing it with saline.

Intravenous sodium bicarbonate is an intravenous solution used to treat acidosis of the blood. Acidosis, or raised acidity, has a number of causes, from cancer to drug abuse. Though sodium bicarbonate solution does not solve the underlying problem, it stops the acidosis from causing harm to the body's tissues. Throughout treatment, it is necessary for medical professionals to ensure that the blood does not become too basic in the process of treatment.

Chemotherapy is a category of intravenous solutions used to treat various cancers. These medications, most synthetically produced after years of laboratory research, are dissolved into saline during preparation. As too little medication will have no effect on a cancer and too much might irrevocably harm the patient, a precise mixture is necessary.

There is some risk to patients when delivering any intravenous solution. During any medical procedure that requires cutting or breaking the skin for prolonged period of time, infection is a possibility. With therapies such as blood and saline, fluid overload can occur; this event is when the body cannot process an increased amount of fluid. Finally, a rarer complication is hypothermia due to the infusion of cool or cold intravenous solution; this condition can become life-threatening if it causes heart fibrillation.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.