The Pros and Cons of Using IVs for Fluid Replacement

fluid replacement

Dehydration is a common problem among Americans. As a matter of fact, studies show up to 75 percent of us are in varying levels of chronic dehydration.

When dehydration reaches a certain point, however, medical attention becomes necessary and IV fluid replacement needs to be considered.

How do you know if you need IV hydration, and what are the pros and cons? Keep reading to find out!

What is Dehydration?

Dehydration is a lack of water in the body. Our organs and body tissues are largely made of water and require a constant replacement of fluids.

And our activity level, exercise, and even illness dictate an even higher amount of fluids. The fact is, most of us simply don’t drink enough water.

When your body is dehydrated it will physically show signs. The first signs of dehydration are dry mouth, decreased urination, and constipation. Symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, mental fog, irritability, and trouble focusing.

In more advanced cases, dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, shrunken skin, rapid heart rate, and kidney stones are common.

Pros and Cons of IV Fluid Replacement

IV rehydration involves inserting an IV needle in an arm vein to establish a line in which to intravenously administer fluids to reverse dehydration. A doctor will be able to regulate the number of fluids received over a period of time using a programmed pump.

In some cases, additional supplements may be added to the fluid to restore the balance of vitamins and minerals in the body.

IV fluid replacement is quick, mostly painless, and is the easiest way to restore the body to a state of hydration. It does, however, have a few risks.

IV needles are larger than those used for most injections and can cause mild pain when they’re inserted. There’s always a small risk of infection when the skin is broken, but such infections, should they occur, are easily treated at the site.

There’s also a small chance of creating a nutrient imbalance. If the wrong mix of electrolytes is administered, you may show signs of a nutrient imbalance, which is easily treated by changing the IV fluid.

None of these risks outweigh those of dehydration, which can result in severe illness, organ failure, and even death if left untreated.

IV fluid replacement is an easy and mostly painless way to quickly restore a dehydrated patient back to a state of homeostasis.

Knowing When You Need IV Fluids

So how do you know if you need IV fluid replacement? If you have minor signs of dehydration, immediately drink a large glass or two of water or an electrolyte sports drink and monitor your symptoms. If your symptoms disappear within an hour, continue to hydrate well over the next several days.

If, however, your symptoms continue, consider going to an urgent care to receive IV fluids so your body can return to a state of balance more quickly. As always, if you’re unsure of what to do, contact us at Coastal Urgent Care and we can help you determine the best course of action for your health!