We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Fluid Bolus?

By Lucinda Reynolds
Updated Mar 06, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A fluid bolus is a rapid infusion of intravenous fluid or medication that is usually administered to correct a life-threatening condition. When an individual receives this treatment, he must be carefully monitored by properly trained health care personnel.

There are many conditions that require the administration of fluids rapidly through an intravenous (IV) line. An IV bolus may be given to an individual who is severely dehydrated, such as after a long period of vomiting or diarrhea. In most cases, this fluid loss will be replenished with normal saline.

Normal saline is simply a mixed solution of salt and water, and it is usually the first solution used for an IV bolus because it is considered the safest. If an individual has a health condition that affects the pumping action of his heart, however, he must be monitored closely. If the heart cannot pump effectively enough, the excess fluid can build up in his lungs and cause breathing problems.

If an individual suffers from trauma or any other condition in which he is losing a large amount of blood, then a fluid bolus may be ordered until he can receive a blood transfusion. The may consist of normal saline or another type of intravenous fluid. It is up to a medical professional to decide the type of fluid needed based on the individual's health condition.

Certain medications may require a bolus or a loading dose before a continuous drip of the medicine is administered. This dose may be delivered by direct intravenous injection over two or three minutes, or it may be given through an intravenous pump over a longer period of time. Intravenous medications that affect the heart are just one example of medicines that may require this method.

The fluid bolus is administered by a trained healthcare personnel. The heart and lungs of the patient are assessed prior to, during, and after the administration of the IV. Blood pressure is carefully monitored during the infusion as well.

The bolus equipment used during an intravenous administration of fluid consists of a large-size needle that is placed into a large vein. This needle will be attached to a long plastic tube, which is connected to a bag that contains the prescribed bolus solution. An intravenous pump may or may not be used, but faster administration is accomplished if the fluids are not delivered with an infusion pump.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Sinbad — On Aug 12, 2011

@tomislav - I wondered the same thing and found out - a bolus can also be talking about a completely non-food or non-drinkable item - it can be talking about wax or paraffin that can be used in a specific radiation application! Will have to make sure to keep our different boluses straight from the bolus into an iv to a bolus describing food after it has been chewed and mixed with saliva (yet another bolus definition)!

By Tomislav — On Aug 12, 2011

This was interesting to learn about. In the speech therapy field we describe the different types of food and consistency of food being a such and such bolus (we use these for swallow studies that are done typically in a hospital setting).

I thought I had missed a step in what I had learned by not remembering learning what a fluid bolus was. (When we administer fluid we just call them a thin liquid, thick liquid, etc. not a bolus - usually the word bolus indicates food). But now I know it is a completely different field using the term bolus.

Does the term bolus have any other uses in other fields?

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.