Word of the Week: Intravenous

illustration of scientist looking into microscope - word of the week

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Each week, Verywell explains a term from health, medicine, science, or technology.

Word of the Week: Intravenous

How to say itIntravenous (in-tra-vee-nuss)

What it means: In a vein.

Where it comes from: From Latin, "intra" = inside and "venous" = vein.

An illustration of a male person in a hospital bed with an IV pole next to them.

DataBase Center for Life Science (DBCLS)/Wikimedia Commons

Where you might see or hear it: If you are in the hospital and need medicine, you might get an "IV" put in your arm. "IV" stands for "intravenous. It means that the medicine is being given to you through a vein rather than in your mouth (like it would be if you took a pill).

When you might want to use it: If your child has to have surgery, they will get an IV put into their arm give them medication to help them relax and fall asleep before the procedure.

You can use simple explanations to help them understand—especially if they are afraid that the needle will hurt.

However, it's also an opportunity to teach them a new word. The two parts of the word are concepts that they already know: Intra means "inside" and "venous" is vein (which you can point to on their arm).

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