8.1 Introduction

The use of intravenous (IV) therapy is common in the health care setting. IV therapy is a treatment that infuses fluids, nutrients, blood, blood products, or medication directly into a vein. It is a fast, efficient way to infuse fluids and medications into the body.

This chapter will review how to care for a patient with peripheral intravenous therapy and central venous catheters. It will cover how to prepare IV infusions, and how to assess, maintain, and prevent complications related to intravenous therapy.

Learning Objectives

  • Define patient conditions
  • Discuss how to prevent infections related to IV therapy, general guidelines, and complications associated with IV therapy
  • Compare the benefits and complications related to a peripheral IV for administering IV therapy
  • Identify common types of central venous catheters and the benefits and complications associated with them
  • Demonstrate how to flush a saline lock, start a continuous IV infusion, discontinue a continuous infusion, and discontinue a peripheral IV
  • Describe how to change IV solution and IV tubing, and how to calculate IV rates
  • Discuss indications for blood and blood product transfusions
  • Describe how to prepare, administer, and monitor blood and blood products and manage transfusion reactions according to Canadian standards
  • Define total parenteral nutrition (TPN), explain how to care for a patient receiving TPN, and identify potential complications
  • Explain how to administer TPN


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Clinical Procedures for Safer Patient Care Copyright © 2015 by British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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