1. I had an IV last night because my blood pressure dropped too low.
  2. I was given an IV (Fluids) last night...
  3. I was put on a drip last night...
  4. I got a drip last night...
  5. I was on a drip last night ...
  6. They gave me a drip last night...
  7. I had a drip last night...
  8. My blood pressure dropped too low last night so they put me on a drip.


Are they grammatical? What would be the best way to say? Are these sentences natural to a native ear? Is there any informal sentences you use? Is the use of "IV or drip" correct in these sentences? what about the verbs?

Source: I wrote the sentence myself.


Drip (IV)

a method of slowly giving someone liquid medicine or food through a tube into one of their veins, or a piece of equipment for doing this: He was on a drip for three days.

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  • 1
    it's basically "IV". you'd only say "drip" if you were, like, a nurse already in a hospital dealing with such things.
    – Fattie
    Oct 17, 2014 at 10:34
  • In American or British?
    – 0935
    Oct 17, 2014 at 15:10

3 Answers 3


Numbers 1,2,3, and 8 sound perfectly alright to my native (British) ear.

I don't know if you are in America or Britain or elsewhere, but I would ask you to bear in mind that the word 'drip', in Britain anyway, has the further connotation of 'A stupid, feeble, or dull person; a fool; a bore - slang' (OED; it does not mark it as specifically British, so I am not sure if Americans use the word in that way.)

So saying something like 'I got a drip last night' could set up an unfortunate if unintended double entendre.

  • Have you ever heard the phrase "hooking up to an IV"?////"the patient was hooked up to an IV" from Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary
    – 0935
    Oct 17, 2014 at 15:07
  • @0935 Yes, of course. But the OP did not mention that.
    – WS2
    Mar 17, 2019 at 10:13

"I went to the Infusion Center. The nurse placed an IV catheter in my hand. I received an intravenous infusion of iron sucrose. I developed an infusion reaction with chills and shortness of breath. The nurse stopped the infusion and gave me intravenous injections of diphenhydramine and hydrocortisone. I felt better soon." "Drip" is hardly ever used in my part of the U.S.

D. Finke, RN, OCN Hennepin Comprehensive Cancer Center Infusion Center Minneapolis, Minnesota


I am American. None of those sound right. I would understand what you meant if you used "drip" in that context, but it would sound off (strange).

The phrasal verb we mostly use is "to hook someone up to" an IV/a monitor, etc. For example:

  1. While in the hospital, they hooked me up to an IV.

I only use the term "IV" and that is the only term here in the States that I have ever heard anyone else use.

For an adjective (describing the situation) I suggest:

  1. The nurse has him on an IV.
  2. The hospital had me hooked up to an IV for 3 days.

Now, what if you were to do this to someone? There are two main choices:

  1. The doctor ordered the nurse to put the patient on an IV.
  2. The nurse said to me "OK, let's get this IV started and then you can rest."

We also use the word "drip" for a person who is a combination of not fun to have around/ruins other people's good times/not very bright.

Hope this helps!

  • I agree with this answer. In my experience (in the U.S.), the most common ways to say this are: "I was put on an IV." "I was given IV fluids." "They started me on an IV." ("Drip" with this meaning isn't common.) Jul 11, 2016 at 4:56

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