Intravenous Line and Tube

Also known as: IV line and tube.

What is intravenous line and tube?

An intravenous (IV) line and tube is a method of delivering medication, nutrients, fluids or blood to a patient. It’s used for several reasons, such as during a medical procedure, if the patient needs continuous delivery of its contents or if the patient cannot acquire nutrients in other ways.

What happens during the procedure? 

The intravenous line is inserted into the patient, often using a needle. It may be placed in the veins of the scalp, hand or foot; in a deeper vein in the arm or leg; or in the umbilical cord of a newborn. The IV line is connected to an IV bag that delivers the necessary nutrients, medicine, fluid or other substances at the proper time and in the proper proportions. 

Is any special preparation needed? 

Often no special preparation is needed for the procedure.

What are the risk factors? 

Bleeding, infection, damage to surrounding organs and tissues or the misplacement of the intravenous line are all potential risks.


Reviewed by: Marcos A Mestre, MD

This page was last updated on: 7/12/2018 2:59:43 PM

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Director and Pediatric Specialists of America (PSA) section chief, Dr. Marcos Mestre, introduces you to the Division of Hospital Medicine at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami, Florida.