IVs are standard procedure in most hospitals for patients who are admitted. There are any number of reasons an IV may need to be administered, but in cases where the patient is in hospital only for the intravenous intervention, a house call doctor may be a better option. This would allow the patient to stay at home, instead.
Why a Patient Might Need IVs at Home
In many cases, an IV may need to be administered, but it is less than optimal for the patient to remain in the hospital. The reasons are many.
Dehydration: Those with severe dehydration may require a little help to rehydrate. In cases where ingesting liquids by mouth is not possible, due to disability, vomiting and nausea, an intravenous drip may be the best solution. This will need to be administered by someone who is qualified to prescribe the dosage and can check on the patient periodically to ensure that the treatment is working.
Infection: Some infections require antibiotics filtered directly into the bloodstream. This may be necessary in cases where the patient has an antibiotic resistant strain of bacteria. For example, if the patient has e.Coli and has taken short treatments of several antibiotics to treat the resulting bladder infections, the bacteria can be resistant to most treatments. Eliminating it would require a very long treatment with highly specialized antibiotics that can only be administered by IV. When antibiotics cannot be taken by mouth, this is the only option.
Preventative: Some medications are designed to be preventative. A pregnant woman might need magnesium and medications to help prevent pre-term labor, but this may require a very lengthy stay in the hospital. High risk pregnancies may require hospitalization, but where possible, it is best if the pregnant woman remains in her own home, even if she is on complete bed rest. A doctor can visit regularly to ensure that she and the baby are doing well.
Malnutrition: Anyone with digestive tract problems can end up with malnutrition. Sometimes, the best way to administer the correct amount of nutrition is via IV. TNP or total parenteral nutrition is given this way and can eliminate the need for oral consumption of food or formula. While not ideal, it is necessary for some patients.
House Call Doctors Can Administer IVs
When necessary, a house call doctor can visit the patient and do an exam or checkup, depending on the situation. If care has been transferred from the hospital to the doctor, regular checkups will be necessary, particularly when an IV is being used. The patient may wish to hire a full time nurse, in addition to having a doctor coming by each day.
Ongoing care can be given at home in many situations. For the vast majority of patients, going home is a relief. People tend to recover faster and easier at home, where they are surrounded by their belongings and loved ones. House call doctors can make the recovery process an easier one for all involved.