You may have heard the term infusion therapy or IV therapy before—but what exactly is it? Medical professionals use infusion therapy as a quick way to get fluids or medication into a patient. It has a wide variety of uses, such as emergency care, treating long-term diseases, pain management, or for those unable to take medication orally.
What Is the Definition of Infusion Therapy?
The infusion therapy definition1 is any type of medications or fluids administered through a needle or catheter directly into the bloodstream through veins generally in the arm. Infusion therapy allows fluids to enter the bloodstream quickly and deal with medical issues efficiently.
A few medications that can be administered via infusion therapy include:
Additionally, infusion therapy treatments can deliver vitamins and nutrients to boost the immune system. IV therapy is a simple process to get patients the crucial medications and fluids they need.
What Is Infusion Therapy Used To Treat?
Infusion therapy is helpful to treat a wide range of issues depending on the medication needed. For example, certain forms of chemotherapy are administered through an IV for cancer treatment2.
Healthcare professionals also use infusion therapy to improve a patient’s quality of life and treat all kinds of health problems, including:
- Congestive heart failure
- Crohn’s disease
- Spinal cord injuries
- Autoimmune diseases
How Is Infusion Therapy Done?
You’ll likely have to spend several hours at the infusion treatment center when you get IV therapy. Patients need to be carefully monitored during the procedure to ensure they get the correct medication dosage and deal with any side effects. Infusion therapy involves a few basic steps:
1. Medication and Dosage Is Confirmed
Before the treatment begins, the nurse or physician will often confirm your identity with a series of questions, which may include your last name and birthdate. This is done to ensure you are the right patient and are getting the correct medications and the right amount.
2. Injection Site Is Prepared
IV therapy patients receive infusions through a central line inserted into their arm, chest, groin, or neck. Another option is to surgically implant a port into the skin for ongoing treatments. The port is then removed after infusion treatments are complete. Talk to your doctor about the best options for you or your loved one.
3. Fluids Are Administered
Medication, fluids, or other treatments drip from an IV bag down the catheter and into your bloodstream. Depending on the procedure, you may begin to feel better during the treatment. However, it often takes a few days or more.
How Long Does Infusion Therapy Take?
The amount of time that your treatment takes can vary. Some procedures can be completed in just 30 minutes, while others take several hours.
Patients receiving infusions should keep in mind that they will be allowed to go to the bathroom and eat or drink while getting the treatment. Patients can also work on a laptop, read a book, watch a movie, or listen to music during most IV therapy sessions.
Where Is Infusion Therapy Done?
IV therapy is used in many locations and facilities, depending on the situation. Some common places for medical professionals to administer IV therapy include:
- Doctor’s office
- Outpatient infusion center
- Mobile treatment at home, a hotel, or the office
- Assisted living facility or nursing home
The caring medical professionals at Haven Health are here to help with your infusion therapy needs. Contact us today for more information.
How Can You Prepare for Infusion Therapy?
To ensure that you get the best results from IV therapy, it’s a good idea to prepare for the procedure before you go. Here are some guidelines that may help you:
- Follow your doctor’s instructions – You may need to adjust your diet or medications before therapy.
- Write a list of your concerns – Discuss any questions or concerns with your healthcare professional before the procedure.
- Bring a list of medications – It’s important to let your IV therapy administer know about other medicines you are taking to ensure they won’t interfere with treatment or have adverse reactions.
- Wear comfortable clothes and relax – Healthcare providers will have to check your vital signs, so loose clothing is ideal. Being comfortable will also make your time at the center more pleasant.
What Happens After Infusion Therapy Is Complete?
It’s a good idea not to plan any other activities on the day of your infusion treatment in case it takes longer than expected. You may also experience side effects and not be up for activities the rest of the day. You don’t want to worry about the stress of having to do anything else on the day of your treatment.
The level of side effects of IV infusions depends on the medication and dosage given to the patient. infusion therapy is safe, but it is common to have mild side effects. Some of the potential side effects may include:
- muscle stiffness
- pain at the site where the injection
Infusion therapy can treat many conditions, and your doctor will determine if you are a good candidate for it. Administering medication or nutrients intravenously or subcutaneously is an efficient way to quickly get essential treatments into the body.
Specialty Infusion Care at Haven Health
IV therapy is a common procedure that can benefit many ailments. The medical professionals at Haven Heath are ready to answer any of your questions or concerns and will make your treatment as stress-free as possible.
Contact us today to talk to our care team or schedule a tour of one of our Arizona facilities!
1Chavoustie, C.T. (21 December 2021). What Is Infusion Therapy and When Is It Needed? Healthline. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
2American Cancer Society. (22 November 2019). Getting IV or Injectable Chemotherapy. Retrieved 2 March 2022.