Maintaining the level of hydration and electrolyte balance in patients admitted into hospital is a key issue, not only due to the need for these parameters to remain stable, but also to facilitate the correct diffusion of the medication administered into the organism and even, in many cases, to minimise the side effects of this medication.
In the case of critical patients whose haemodynamic stability may be threatened, introducing intravenous fluid therapy is one of the first measures to take since these patients – especially those that have lost significant volumes of liquid through vomiting, diarrhoea or major blood loss – require an urgent replenishment of these liquids in order to stay alive.
However, the continuous infusion of liquids is a common practice in patients admitted to hospital, since situations such a fever or post-traumatic surgery can “desensitise” the patient to the need to drink, even when the patient is conscious and oriented. This can lead to potentially dangerous dehydration.
Maintaining the balance of body fluids requires monitoring the loss of liquid (urine, drains, nasogastric aspirations and so on) and adjusting infusion flow to replace these liquids correctly.
In addition to this, certain ailments can cause alterations to the electrolytes and pH of blood, meaning that both the flow of infusion liquids and their composition must be adapted to respond to these conditions.
The intravenous administration of medication, depending on the characteristics of the medication used, can aggravate the blood vessels in which the line has been inserted. Fluid therapy helps to minimise the impact of medication on the endothelial cells that cover the internal layer of these blood vessels, “washing” the line and minimising the risk of complications such as phlebitis from emerging.
Intravenous fluid therapy with infusion pumps
Infusion pumps play an important role in intravenous fluid therapy, even when this is used in routine situations. In the case of arcomed Chroma pumps, the options for programming, monitoring and connection to the PDMS of the hospital allow clinical staff to monitor the pumps correctly and be notified of any alarms (for example, due to occlusion of the line) without having to be physically present in the patient’s room.
Furthermore, Chroma pumps have been designed to streamline workflow: A large colour touch screen, icon-based navigation and the setting of maximum and minimum limits to infusion flow, among many other advanced features, enable clinical staff to carry out their programming and monitoring tasks in a quick, effective and safe manner.