US PIV: Indications

IV access is typically obtained to provide therapies not possible or less effective via alternative routes. Frequently cited indications are:

  • Intravenous fluids
  • Parenteral nutrition (limited duration)
  • Blood products
  • Medication administration*
  • Prophylactic for procedures
  • Prophylactic in unstable patients

In general, critically ill patients require IV access, even when not actively getting IV therapy.

By itself, venous sampling is not a good indication for peripheral IV access.

*It is generally thought that medications with a pH < 5 or > 9 should be given centrally, but there are many caveats to this. Here is one resource that lists the pH and Osm of many medications.,

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