Oncology patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments find it difficult to maintain adequate hydration and experience increased fatigue, weakness, and dizziness. In an outpatient cancer infusion center providing intravenous (IV) hydration, is a longer infusion time better for the patient? For example, would it be better to infuse 1 liter of normal saline over 1, 2, or 3 hours (without congestive heart failure [CHF])? —Name withheld on request

The optimal rate of infusion for IV hydration depends on the presence of comorbidities (eg, CHF), the presence of any electrolytes (eg, potassium, magnesium) that may be added to the hydration solution, and institutional policies. There is no clinical literature indicating that rates of infusion slower than 1 liter per hour is more effective for patients without complicating comorbidities, therefore patient- and product-specific restrictions such as those mentioned above, should be considered when evaluating the rate of these infusions.


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