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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


RODRIGUES, Elisa da Conceição; CUNHA, Sueli Rezende  and  GOMES, Romeu. "The vein is missed": meanings of intravenous therapy practice in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.4, pp.989-999. ISSN 1678-4561.

Intravenous Therapy (IVT) is an important item among the necessary technologies for the survival of high-risk new-born babies. However, it is also a source of pain, stress and risk of serious complications. This article aims to assess the meanings of IVT as ascribed by care teams and to discuss the reflection of such meanings on the attention to new-born babies. The article, with a theoretical referential in Cultural Anthropology, presents an ethnographic case study carried out in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of municipal administration in Rio de Janeiro. Subjects were nine nurses, four doctors, and three nurse assistants. Data collection was carried out with a semi-structured interview and participative observation. The qualitative analysis was performed using the method of interpretation of the senses. Meanings, interweaved with the cultural network, showed that IVT practice is often reduced to peripheral puncture techniques, bringing on a series of complications for high risk new-born babies and intense emotional waste for the professional team and the family. Re-signification of IVT practice will only be possible with a critical analysis of the cultural patterns it is now based on.

Keywords : New born babies; Infusion therapy; Nursing; Anthropology.

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