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Definition of «IV (intravenous)»

IV (intravenous): Within a vein. IV is the abbreviation for "intravenous."

The word "intravenous" is quite properly an adjective. In this guise, it entered the English language around 1849. It means, according to Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, "situated, performed, or occurring within or entering by way of a vein."

Some examples of the use of "intravenous" as an adjective:

  • Intravenous antibiotics refer to the administration into the venous circulation of a solution containing antibiotics;
  • Intravenous immunoglobulin is a sterile solution of concentrated antibodies extracted from healthy people given straight into a vein;
  • An intravenous injection is just that: the giving of something such as drugs into a vein through a syringe.

The accompanying adverb is "intravenously", as in: "The glucose was given intravenously."

In more recent years, the word "intravenous" has taken on a second role: as a noun. Thus, "an intravenous" refers to an intravenous fluid drip, a solution (usually a balanced electrolyte solution) administered directly into the venous circulation. Also called a drip.

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