By: Ryan MacArthur |

Quick read:

IVs aren’t perfect and can fail like any other medical procedure. IV placement isn’t supposed to be painful, but it depends on the patient. After IV placement, the needle is removed, leaving just the cannula in the vein. There are methods to make children’s IV placements easier.

Full story:

Has anyone ever told you that receiving intravenous (IV) therapy is extremely painful, or said that the needle doesn’t come out after the line has been placed? These are just a few of the misconceptions about IV treatments due to lack of information. After a while, it becomes hard to tell IV myths apart from the facts.

Here are four common IV myths and facts about intravenous therapy:

IV Myth:

Nothing can go wrong with your IV.

Fact:

IV therapy is one of the most widely used procedures found in hospitals today, with roughly 80% of U.S. hospital patients receiving an IV at some point during their stay.

However,  the failure rate for IVs reaches up to 50% and various types of complications may occur as a result of IV failure. Your medical team should monitor you for symptoms of IV failure like swelling, redness and pain at the IV site.

For more information on IV failure, check out IV Complications: What Can Go Wrong?

IV Myth:

Getting an IV hurts…a lot!

Fact:

It really depends if the person receiving the IV treatment experiences discomfort with needles. The process of placing a catheter is relatively painless for most patients, though some may feel a slight pinch.

Some hospitals and treatment centers use a numbing/cooling spray or a Lidocaine cream to help minimize pain.

IV Myth:

The needle stays in your body.

Fact:

When a doctor or nurse places an IV line, the needle is inserted through the skin and into a vein but does not remain there. The needle is removed, leaving a small, thin and flexible tube called an IV cannula that delivers medicine, fluids or blood directly into the bloodstream.

IV Myth:

It’s impossible to make placing an IV any easier for a child.

Fact:

Getting an IV is never fun, but there are plenty of ways to help turn a child’s attention away from any potential pain. Sing their favorite song together. Make a funny face. Hold hands and squeeze tight; anything to keep their focus on something else other than the needle.

 

 

 

References:

Creating a better way to locate vasculature for intravenous therapy – http://ncees.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/NC-State.pdf

Way to Grow: Having an IV – http://www.chkd.org/Patients-and-Families/Health-Library/Way-to-Grow/IV,-Having-an/

Improving patient safety during insertion of peripheral venous catheters: an observational intervention study – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3850230/

Intravenous (IV) cannula – http://www.gosh.nhs.uk/teenagers/your-condition/tests-and-treatments/intravenous-iv-cannula

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