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Pre-operation Home > Patient Support > Pre-operation

The safety of any anaesthetic or sedation is very important to us. Giving intravenous fluids, or a drip, into the vein during an anaesthetic will help increase the safety of that anaesthetic.

When a drip is set up a sterile catheter is placed into a vein, usually in the fore leg. Fluid containing a balanced mix of salts is slowly run into the vein. We use a fluid pump to precisely control the rate and amount of fluid administered and ensure no air is accidently introduced or overdose given. The doctor will calculate the correct rate of fluid to be given before, during and after the anaesthetic.

We also ask you to consider blood and urine tests before the procedure.

Why Use a drip?

The drip provides many benefits during an operation or anaesthetic.

  • Correction of undetected minor dehydration before the anaesthetic.
  • The catheter provides clear and easy access to the blood. It means we can give any medicines that are needed directly and accurately into the vein.
  • Replacement of fluid lost during an operation by bleeding, evaporation and even fluid lost by breathing the dry anaesthetic gases and oxygen.
  • The fluid will help maintain the blood pressure in the normal range.
  • If the blood pressure falls too low we can rapidly give extra fluids and medicines if the patient is already on a drip to correct the blood pressure.
  • Fluid can be given to replace excessive blood loss during an operation.
  • In the case of an emergency it is important to have direct access to the blood to give life saving emergency medicines or treatments as quickly and effectively as possible.

We do many things to improve the safety of anaesthesia. By allowing us to set up a drip before the anaesthetic you will help to ensure that all goes as smoothly as possible.

The cost of administering a drip varies but is usually $420.

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