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Understanding the principles and aims of intravenous fluid therapy

Guest, Mags


Mags Guest


A balance between the volume of fluid taken in by the human body, and the volume of fluid excreted, is essential for life. Body fluid balance, which is maintained via various homeostatic mechanisms, can be disrupted by injury or disease. Prompt action is usually required to replenish fluid volumes and restore homeostasis, which is achieved via intravenous (IV) fluid therapy. Nurses will often encounter patients with a disrupted fluid balance, particularly in critical care. They will be involved in assessing patients' fluid status and administering and monitoring therapy. Therefore, nurses have an important role in ensuring the safety and effectiveness of IV fluid therapy. This article provides an overview of the principles and aims of IV fluid therapy. It also explains the physiology of body fluid and mechanisms of fluid balance regulation, outlines the principles of patient assessment and indications for IV fluid therapy, and details its potential risks and complications.


Guest, M. (2020). Understanding the principles and aims of intravenous fluid therapy. Nursing standard, 35(2), 75-82.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 19, 2019
Online Publication Date Jan 27, 2020
Publication Date Feb 5, 2020
Deposit Date Jan 13, 2021
Journal Nursing standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain) : 1987)
Print ISSN 0029-6570
Electronic ISSN 2047-9018
Publisher RCN Publishing (RCNi)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 35
Issue 2
Pages 75-82
Keywords Blood; Blood administration; Fluid balance; Fluid intake; Fluid management; Hydration; Intravenous infusion; Medicines; Medicines management; Nutrition
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