A rally pack is an intravenous solution which is administered to a patient in order to address a nutritional deficiency. These packs are commonly used in settings like the intensive care unit (ICU), where patients may be deficient in some nutrients as a result of their diets or illnesses. They are also used in the care of acute alcoholism, when a patient requires immediate treatment.
The rally pack is also known as a banana bag, a reference to the color of the solution. The composition of the solution varies, depending on the facility, with some facilities mixing their own while others use a packaged product from a medical supply company. Usually the packs include multi-vitamins (MVI), folic acid, thiamine, and magnesium sulfate, prepared in a sterile saline solution. The contents are slowly infused so that they can be distributed throughout the body.
Very ill patients can develop nutritional deficiencies for a variety of reasons. As they get sicker and their nutritional deficiencies grow more acute, they can experience additional complications related to their lack of vitamins and minerals. A rally pack helps keep a patient's body more in balance, providing vitamins and minerals which might not be otherwise accessible. For alcoholics, nutritional deficiencies are the result both of poor dietary habits and of complications of alcoholism which interfere with nutrient absorption. These packs can provide immediate supplementation to an alcoholic patient in need.
A doctor does not need to be present to administer a rally pack. Once a doctor has ordered it, a nurse can hang the bag and set the intravenous line, or connect the bag to an IV which is already placed in the patient. The distinctive color of the solution makes it easy to differentiate from other IV bags which may be connected to the patient to provide medications. Hospital protocol may also require that the bag be labeled with the solution, the patient's name, the date it was prepared, the doctor's name, and the name of the nurse who set up the intravenous drip.
The term "rally pack" is also used to refer to a type of luggage designed for use with motorcycles. This item provides room for a bedroll, clothing, and other basic items and straps securely onto a motorcycle. The "rally" is a reference to rallies, gatherings at which motorcycle enthusiasts meet to socialize and enjoy riding on the open road with friends and co-enthusiasts.