Comparison of routes for achieving parenteral access with a focus on the management of patients with Ebola Virus Disease

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This new review compares the different ways to give fluids to people in situations where it is impossible to maintain adequate hydration simply by giving fluids orally. Collectively, these alternatives are termed parenteral access. They include getting fluids into a vein (intravenously), into bone marrow (intraosseously), into fatty tissue under the skin (subcutaneously) or into the abdominal space (intraperitoneally).

Giving fluid intravenously is a commonly used method, but in patients with Ebola this can be problematic. Obtaining venous access can be difficult in very dehydrated patients, and this is made even worse in situations where caregivers are obliged to wear protective suits, and where there is a risk of transmission of the virus, such as Ebola. This reviews helps health workers caring for patients with EVD to know the advantages and disadvantages of the other ways to give fluids, so they can decide which is the most suitable for their patients.

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