What Is Infusion Therapy – What types of conditions is it used for?

 What Is Infusion Therapy – What types of conditions is it used for?

What is infusion therapy?

Infusion therapy refers to the therapy when fluids or medications are administered through a needle or catheter. It is performed by injecting a needle directly into the patient’s arm to give a more efficient treatment of a chronic illness as it delivers the antibiotics, medicines, or hydration directly into the bloodstream. Since there is a higher absorption rate, the patient obtains relief faster.

Types of conditions that infusion therapy treats

Infusion therapy is used to treat chronic or serious infections that can’t be treated by oral antibiotics. This therapy treats conditions such as gastrointestinal tract or pain caused by cancers, dehydration caused by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. are treated through this therapy. Moreover, here are a few of the conditions where the therapy is used: –

1. Congestive heart failure

Congestive heart failure, also known as CHF, is a chronic progressive condition that affects heart muscle pumping power. It is also referred to as heart failure. Primarily, CHF refers to a stage when fluid builds up within the heart. It causes the heart to pump inefficiently. Infusion therapy is used at the end-stage of heart failure to help control and relieve the heart failure symptoms so that the person feels better to perform daily activities.

2. Dehydration

Another common condition where infusion therapy is used is dehydration. It takes place when the body loses more fluid than the person drinks. A few of the common causes of dehydration can be excessive sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea. Fluids can be given intravenously through this therapy because rehydration by drinking is not possible in conditions like vomiting and diarrhea.

In order to do this, a small IV tube is inserted in a vein in the hand or arm. It infuses a solution that is often a mix of water and electrolytes.

3. Primary Immunodeficiencies

Primary immunodeficiency or primary immune disorder refers to a condition when the person is born with a weakened immune system. It can range from mild to severe. In the former cases, primary immunodeficiencies can remain undetected for several years. However, in severe cases, the doctors are able to diagnose it while a baby is a newborn. It can cause delayed growth, anemia, digestive problems, autoimmune disorders, etc.

Infusion therapy is a viable treatment option for patients with immunodeficiencies since the medical condition makes it impossible or difficult to swallow medications orally. Therefore, the therapy offers a successful alternative for people who have failed to get relief from oral drugs. Moreover, the medications are injected directly into the veins, which helps alleviate symptoms at a faster rate.

4. Infections that are unresponsive to oral antibiotics

Infusion therapy is used as the next level of healthcare for patients suffering from infectious diseases. Infectious diseases cause inconveniences due to which it can become impossible for the patient to take medicines orally. Intravenous therapy enables the person to spend time with their friends or family comfortably.

A few traditional drug therapies commonly administered via infusion include antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal, hydration, chemotherapy, and pain management. Moreover, here are a few of the diseases and conditions that commonly require infusions therapy: –

  • Diabetic Foot Infections
  • HIV
  • Orthopedic Infections
  • Bone Infections
  • Chronic Urinary Tract Infections
  • Chronic Hepatitis B & C
  • Surgical site infections (SSI)
  • Latent/Dormant Tuberculosis

Side Effects of Infusion Therapy

The side effects of this therapy depend on the medications being administered. A few of the common side-effects that the person may face after the therapy are as follows: –

1. Nausea or Vomiting

People often feel nauseous after the therapy. However, it can be easily treated by taking anti-nausea medication as prescribed by the healthcare professional. Moreover, the person should avoid eating fatty, spicy, sweet, or very salty food. Also, one should try to take small meals throughout the day.

2. Headache

Headache is one of the most common moderate side effects that people experience after therapy. It can last for more than 24 hours. However, sometimes this headache can progress into a severe headache known as aseptic meningitis. It occurs when the drug causes irritation of the meninges in the brain. However, it is an unexpected side-effect that can occur during or after the infusion.

3. Dizziness

Dizziness is a feeling when the person feels dizzy or faint. One can feel dizzy due to causes like dehydration or conditions such as orthostatic hypotension. However, it can also result from many medications and treatments, such as infusion therapy.

4. Itchiness at the injection site

Itchiness at the injection site can be caused due to extravasation. It is referred to as the leakage of a small amount of drug from the blood vessel when it was injected. A few other common symptoms that occur with itchiness are redness, warmth, and tenderness. However, its consequences can be severe and may include pain, skin damage, or blistering. Hence, if you experience extreme symptoms, you should consider medical help.

Final Thoughts

Infusion therapy refers to the administration of medication and fluids in a controlled method. It is used to dispense various treatments for a wide variety of conditions that we have discussed above. Moreover, it can also be used to give drugs into the person’s bloodstream quickly in the case of a life-threatening emergency.

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