Intravenous (IV) therapy
Intravenous therapy is a treatment that infuses solutions, medications, blood or blood products directly into a vein. The most common reasons for IV therapy include replacement of fluids, administration of medications and blood products, and delivery of nutrients.
Intravenous venous access for infusions is a critical component of patient care, and a variety of options available. The venous access device is generally selected based on the duration of IV therapy, type of medication or solution to be infused, and the needs of the patient. In practice, it is important to understand the options of appropriate devices available.
A cannula is a hollow needle, or more often, a length of flexible plastic tubing that has been inserted into the vein using a needle.
There are two broad categories of veins used for placement of the IV tube that is inserted inted to vein, known as the cannula: a peripheral vein or a larger more central vein in the chest.
A peripheral IV (PIV) is to a peripheral vein, which is any vein not located in the torso. These types of IVs are usually inserted into the arm or hand, although a leg or foot may be used. This is the most common type of IV, and the preferred method for short-term IV therapy in the hospital setting.
A central venous catheter (CVC), also known as a central line or central venous access device, is an IV that is attached to a vein in the chest. Usually the cannula is inserted through the chest wall or a neck vein, but it is also possible to insert the cannula into a peripheral vein and then to move the tip of the cannula slowly upward until it is in a central vein.
Central veins are much larger than peripheral veins, so tubing can be wider and may include multiple delivery channels, known as lumens. A central line goes into a vein that carries blood directly to the heart, so medication given this way is distributed more quickly throughout the body.
Intravenous fluids are administered through thin, flexible plastic tubing called an infusion set or primary infusion tubing / administration set. These tubes are commonly manufactured from PVC compounds.
Colorite PVC compounds are used throughout the IV administration set, as well as for the manufacture of IV bags, tubing, drip chambers and connectors. Our Natvar tubing offers superior durability for peristaltic pump tubes. Our standard single-layer PVC tubes are used in IV sets around the world, while our polyethylene, PVC tubes offer superior absorption resistance for the delivery of critical drugs. Our Dunn specialty tubing includes multi-lumen, radiopaque thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) tubes used in central venous catheterization, including peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC).
IV Infusion Pumps
Peristaltic pumps are widely used to infuse medications during IV therapy. These pumps are comprised of a few simple components. An electric motor powers a non-cylindrical roller that rotates and squeezes flexible tubing within the pump casing. This creates compression, followed by relaxation, of the tube that draws in fluid on one end and expels it from the other. Since the fluid that is pumped only touches the tubing, and no pump components, these pumps are considered contamination-free. Flexible PVC is commonly used in the pump segments of medical-grade peristaltic pumps.