What is Hyaluronidase and Subcutaneous Hydration
This is a natural substance found in the body. It also comes as a medicine that is given under the skin. It helps separate the fatty tissue layer of the skin so medicines can be given under the skin instead of through an intravenous (IV) line. Side affects include a feeling of burning or coldness, and redness.
Subcutaneous Hydration (Hypodermoclysis)
This is the process of giving fluids into the fatty tissue under the skin. The fluids can be absorbed through the many blood vessels there.
When may subcutaneous hydration be used?
It is used when:
• It is hard to gain IV access
• The patient needs some extra fluid but an IV is not needed.
What to Expect
• A site is chosen for the injection, such as the back, upper arm, upper legs, or
abdomen. The most common site is between the shoulder blades of your
back. There aren’t as many nerve endings here so there is less pain.
• Numbing medicine will be given first.
• A small needle will be inserted into chosen site and secured.
• After the fluids start, the area may become swollen and slightly reddened.
This is normal and doesn’t last. See reverse side for pictures. The swelling
will last for an hour or more and the redness will last for about 24 hours.
• There should be no pain. Call your nurse if pain occurs.
A) Between the shoulder blades of the back is the best site to give fluids this way because:
1. There are less nerve endings and therefore less pain.
2. There is more tissue for the fluid to be absorbed.
3. It is less likely to be pulled out.
B) This is what the back will look like after the infusion is started. This is perfectly normal and should be expected but it should not be painful. If the patient has pain, please tell your nurse.
C) After about one hour, it will still be red, but the swelling should be much less because the fluid is being absorbed in the skin.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 11/27/2012
Copyright © 11/27/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7455
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