IV Bolus Vs Push: What’s The Difference And Which Do You Need?

Intravenous medication, or IV therapy, can seem to have a large number of confusing terms. Here, we will discuss the dosing methods of IV therapy delivery methods and the differences therein. The most prominent terms used in dosing are IV bolus and IV push.

IV bolus vs IV push

An IV push is when a medication is given rapidly, typically in less than 30 seconds. IV push is typically only used in emergency situations. An example of an IV push used appropriately would be during an allergic reaction or heart attack. For example, a dose of the medications Atropine or Adenosine could be given by IV push to counteract such an emergency health situation.

An IV bolus is when medications over a longer time period, typically one to five minutes in non-emergency situations. The IV fluid line is typically wide open, as opposed to a typical slower drip of a long-dosing standard IV. The biggest advantage of this method is that a bolus quickly raises the concentration of medication in the blood to an effective level. A common use of medication administered via IV bolus would be insulin for a type-one diabetic.

Standard IVs, meanwhile, last longer than IV bolus and are likewise used for non-emergency situations. Rehydration is the most common use of standard IV drip therapy.

What’s in a word?

The term ‘bolus’ can cause some confusion when trying to understand the differences between IV delivery methods.

A bolus, by definition, is a single large dose of a medication. Both an IV push and an IV bolus are technically using a bolus. A push, however, is effectively a bolus delivered in seconds versus the minutes of a bolus or hours of a standard IV drip.

Which do you need?

In summary, there are three prevalent forms of IV therapy treatment delivery: IV push, bolus, and standard IV drip.

  • IV push is typically only used for emergency situations.
  • An IV bolus is still fast-acting but will take minutes rather than the seconds of an IV push.
  • A standard IV drip dose is the slowest of all three versions and can take hours.

How long does standard IV therapy last?

A standard IV drip will typically take hours. Fluids and any medications or vitamins are added to the blood stream at a slow and steady pace. An example of a standard IV drip dose could be 1 Liter of Normal Saline IV bolus over 1 hour.


In-Home IV Therapy With Drip Hydration

Drip Hydration is a medical service that provides IV therapy at home in dozens of states around the United States. We can also provide COVID-19 testing at home, as well as for businesses and events. All of our nurses are registered in their state of operation.

Drip Hydration may be able to provide you the exact service you need, safely and right in your own home or office! Contact us and we will make sure your IV treatment is the best choice to support your health and overall wellness. Give us a call or book an appointment using the button below!

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