Sodium infusion is a clear, colorless solution made by combining sodium chloride with sterile water. The active component of sodium infusion is sodium chloride, a highly purified common salt. It contains 0.9% sodium chloride, packed in Viaflex plastic bags. When in these bags, your doctor can easily administer the solution to you.
To help you understand sodium infusion, let’s go through its various uses, when it's necessary to get the treatment, when not to take it, and its side effects.
What Is Sodium Infusion Used For?
Dehydration happens when you lose or use more fluids than you take in. It may cause a form of electrolyte imbalance known as hypochloremia. In this case, your health care provider might administer a sodium chloride IV infusion to treat the condition.
Besides rehydrating your body, a sodium infusion can also be used to treat hyponatremia, a low sodium level in your body. Hyponatremia leads to symptoms such as confusion, fatigue, and lethargy. It can also lead to kidney failure if not treated early.
Having low sodium levels means that your body is very alkaline. It causes skin irritations and gastrointestinal issues. High alkalinity levels can also agitate your body's normal pH, leading to a more severe condition known as metabolic alkalosis. Some of the common symptoms of metabolic alkalosis include nausea and vomiting.
So when is the ideal time to take a sodium infusion?
When Is Sodium Infusion Given?
The human body weight is approximately 60% water that contains various mineral salts and other elements. Sodium chloride is one of the main minerals in your blood, making it essential for good health.
For that reason, sodium IV treatment is given when specific scenarios make it necessary. For instance, you might need a sodium infusion to replenish your blood volume after a significant blood loss. You can also use it as a medium to transport medicinal products and electrolytes.
A sodium infusion is also helpful in healing wounds as it helps moisturize their tamponades and dressings. But before treating the above conditions, you need to understand how to use a sodium IV treatment.
How to Use Sodium Infusion
Usually, the solution is given by injection into a vein as directed by your doctor. You may get it at the hospital, clinic, or home. If you use this product at home, pay attention to preparation and usage instructions as instructed by your physician. It helps avoid health complications.
Before you open it, look out for particles and discoloration. Do not use the liquid if it looks contaminated. You should also ensure that the product is not expired and that the seal is intact. Look for any signs of alterations as well.
If you have to mix the solution with other medications, consult your physician first. They will advise you accordingly. And most importantly, ensure you store well and discard the medical equipment safely after use.
Note that sodium infusion dosage depends on your age, weight, medical condition, and response to the treatment. Therefore, you should be careful how you use it. Keep reading to know when you shouldn't take a sodium IV treatment.
When You Shouldn't Take Sodium IV
There are specific factors that may hinder you from taking a sodium infusion. For instance, you shouldn't take sodium chloride if you suffer from congestive heart failure or have had an ischemic stroke. Ischemic stroke happens due to blood clotting, narrowing, or blocking of the artery leading to the brain.
It is not also advisable to take sodium infusion if you have renal disease, liver conditions, fluid retention (swelling), epilepsy, and hypertension. Note that sodium infusion has side effects, as outlined below.
Side Effects of Using Sodium IV
Sodium infusion may cause serious side effects, just like any other medicine. However, most of them occur according to your body's reactions. For instance, your ankles, feet, and hands may swell after treatment due to water retention in your body. It may also affect your lungs leading to breathing difficulties. Other symptoms include:
- Allergic reactions
Inflammation of the vein at the injection site is also a possible side effect. And if not administered properly, you can suffer from sodium chloride poisoning.
Poisoning from sodium chloride is usually caused by unsuccessful induction of emesis, gastric lavage with hypertonic saline, and errors in the formulation of the treatment.
Due to its hypotonic nature, excessive administration of sodium chloride causes hyponatremia and cerebral edema. This is because sodium chloride causes water molecules to migrate to areas of low concentration.
Excess chloride in the body may also cause a loss of bicarbonates due to its acidifying effect. Inform your doctor or nurse immediately if you experience the above side effects for further treatment.
The Quantity of Sodium Infusion You Need
As stated above, the amount of sodium infusion you require is determined by your age, weight, and medical conditions. Also, remember that sodium infusion is delivered intravenously; therefore, you might want to use special sterilized equipment and be attended to by an experienced healthcare professional.
Since excessive sodium chloride infusion has side effects, your body requires the right amount. For that reason, your physician should determine how much sodium infusion you need, depending on your situation.
For adults and children suffering from moderate dehydration, administer 2% of their body weight for 20 to 30 minutes. For severe dehydration cases, administer 6% of the patient's body weight, followed by recommended rehydration fluids for 24 to 48 hours.
The Bottom Line
Although sodium infusion is an effective way to treat dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and other conditions, you should take it with care. For that reason, ensure you inform your doctor if you have underlying health issues, such as hypertension and kidney disease. You should also let your physician know if you are under other medications before the treatment. This will help them make an informed decision.