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Intravenous therapy (IV) is the infusion of liquid substances directly into a vein. Many hospital inpatients need IV fluid therapy to deliver medications, for blood transfusion or as fluid replacement.

This may be because their normal needs cannot be met through enteral routes or because they have unusual fluid and/or electrolyte deficits or demands caused by illness or injury. Compared with other routes of administration, the intravenous route is the fastest way to deliver fluids and medications throughout the body.

What is IV therapy?

IV therapy is typically used to administer fluid replacement (to prevent dehydration), anaesthesia, antibiotics, chemotherapy, nutritional support, pain control, and diagnostic testing (eg. central venous pressure, cardiac output, arterial pressure)

Access points can include peripheral, subclavian, jugular and femoral veins and depend on the age of patient, diagnosis, viability of veins, purpose of infusion, duration of therapy and type of drug.

Why is the control of IV therapy critical?

Control of IV therapy is critical because incorrect insertion and care can lead to complications such as thrombosis, phlebitis, and bloodstream infections with consequential issues of patient safety and additional treatment costs for health care providers.

Why are IV dressings important?

IV dressings are an integral part of IV management. They prevent trauma to the wound and cannulated vessel, secure the catheter and prevent contamination. Self-adhesive transparent, semi-permeable polyurethane film dressings enable visual inspection of the catheter site, they ensure stability and securement, protect from bacteria and liquid, while also allowing the skin to breathe

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How has 3M addressed these challenges?

3M offers reliable, clinically proven solutions for managing a variety of infusion therapy sites. 3M's range of products is designed to reduce the challenges of device securement and site assessment, protect the sites from outside contaminants and improve skin health. 3M™ Tegaderm™ IV Dressings are available to secure and protect all types of catheters including peripheral, PICC, CVC (non-tunnelled & tunnelled), implanted ports, arterial and epidural catheters.

How to reduce catheter related bloodstream infections

Patients receiving intravenous medication are less likely to contract a bloodstream infection if the insertion site is covered by 3M’s Tegaderm CHG IV securement dressing, now recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).  

Following a medical technology assessment under the Medical Technologies Evaluation Programme, NICE published guidance supporting the use of Tegaderm CHG dressings to cover and protect central venous and arterial catheter insertion sites in critical care patients.  

If used as standard practice, the Tegaderm CHG dressing has the potential to save the NHS in England between £4.2 million and £10.8 million each year based on data reviewed by the NICE Advisory Committee (estimated cost saving per patient of £73 based on a baseline CRBSI rate of 1.48 per 1000 catheter days, benefiting population of 80,000 to 260,000.)1

View all Vascular Access products


Tegaderm CHG Clinical Summaries

Tegaderm IV VIP Score Card with Veins

Catheter Management Guide

IV Dressing Selector


3M Science. Applied to Life.™ - Health Care


  1. The 3M Tegaderm CHG IV securement dressing for central venous and arterial catheter insertion sites (2015) NICE medical technologies guidance MTG25 

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