CATEGORIES OF INTRAVENOUS FLUIDS AND THEIR USES
Many patients on the battlefield or in hospitals receive intravenous fluid therapy.
They receive intravenous fluid therapy for many different reasons. All solutions
received aren't alike. Many patients have intravenous solutions tailored to meet their
specific fluid, nutritional, and electrolyte needs, especially if they require long term
a. Use. Hydrating solutions are used to provide the patient with required fluid
that is, water). The volume of preparation administered depends on the fluid needs of
b. Examples. Below are some examples of preparations commonly used as
(1) Five percent dextrose solution. Five percent dextrose solution (D5W)
consists of dextrose and water. One liter of the five percent dextrose contains
approximately 170 calories. This solution contains no appreciable electrolytes.
Therefore, electrolytes are sometimes added to the five percent dextrose solution (for
example: Fifteen mEq KCL in one liter of D5W). The five percent dextrose solution is
used to provide fluid replacement and energy. D5W is not commonly used in the level 1
Dextrose solution is available in several concentrations.
(2) Nine-tenths percent sodium chloride solution (normal saline). This
product is a solution of sodium and water. Each 100 milliliters of solution contains 0.9
gram of sodium chloride. Nine-tenths percent Sodium chloride solution contains 154
milliequivalents of sodium and 154 milliequivalents of chloride in each 1,000 milliliters of
solution. This product is used to provide fluid replacement and to replace moderate
losses of the sodium ion (Na+). Normal saline is often used in trauma patients as a
volume expander before blood products are available. However, colloid solutions are
preferred for volume replacement in trauma patients on the battlefield.
Sodium chloride solutions are also available in other concentrations. For
example, 0.45 percent sodium chloride solution is commonly seen.
(3) Five percent dextrose solution in 0.9 percent sodium chloride solution.
This product has in each 100 milliliters, five grams of dextrose and 0.9 grams of sodium
chloride. Not only does this product provide a source of fluid, it also serves as a source
of both energy (170 calorie/liter) and sodium. This product is used in fluid replacement,
in the replacement of moderate losses of sodium, and as a source of energy.
Various combinations of dextrose and sodium chloride are available.