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Hydrating for Health

Drinking water helps patients who need infusion therapy stay well.

Man enjoying refreshing water after a workout

Drinking water and staying hydrated is good for everyone, but it’s particularly important for patients who receive medicine by intravenous and subcutaneous infusions.

A person who has hemophilia needs to infuse medicine so his or her blood will clot properly. That infusion starts with finding a vein – something that’s tougher if the person isn’t properly hydrated, said Cheryl McShea, a physical therapist who works with hemophilia patients.

“Staying hydrated is critical so that venous access can be established,” said McShea, who was health center coordinator this year at Camp Hot to Clot in Pennsylvania, where kids get help learning how to self-infuse and find a vein on their own.

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Elyse Murphy, Associate Director of CSL Behring’s Immunology Field Team, says hydration is also key for primary immunodeficiency patients who receive immunoglobulin infusions. Being well hydrated helps patients feel better before and after an infusion, she said.

“Most people and patients don’t hydrate enough,” Murphy said.

Patients who have illnesses that involve the lungs also need to stay hydrated, said Eva Morato, a respiratory therapist with Fundación Lovexair, a patient-focused organization based in Spain. In summer, air quality worsens and respiratory infections are more likely, she said. Drink water, especially when the temperature soars.

“The human body has 75 percent water at birth and around 60 percent in adulthood. About 60 percent of that water is inside our cells and the rest circulates in our blood and all around our tissues,” said Morato, who’s in charge of working with patients, as well as training, innovation and technology, for Lovexair.

Sweating in hot weather depletes fluids in the body, but Morato still encourages patients to find a way to exercise safely. Avoid the hottest part of the day, if outdoors, she said. Better yet, move exercise indoors where you can stay cooler and keep up with aerobic exercise that’s often helpful to many who have respiratory problems, Morato said.

To prevent dehydration, keep the body cool and drink water, even when you’re not thirsty, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control advises on its “Extreme Heat” page. How do you know if you’re drinking enough water? The CDC says you can judge it by the color and output of urine. So take a swig from your water bottle and check out this helpful guide from the Cleveland Clinic.