FYI, "Lagniappe" is pronounced "Lan - Yap". That simple. Not "Luh-nigh-uh-pee" like the recent transplant TV reporter called it once.
It's a Cajun word (we were started in Louisiana after all) that means "a little extra". You know, you're at a barbque place and they put a little extra meat on your sandwich that spills out the side, or you're buying fruit at a roadside farmers' market and they give you jam for free. It's a little something extra. When fluids aren't enough, and you need "a little something extra" you go for the Lagniappe.
So, that's pretty big talk for what many of you think is just a "banana bag".
Around the office we joke that The Lagniappe is a banana bag on steroids. Here's why we say that.
To be considered a "banana bag" an IV has to have, at a minimum, normal saline infused with folic acid (vitamin B9), thiamine (vitamin B1), and magnesium. Most (if not nearly ALL) also include a low-potency multi-vitamin, which is nearly always a B-complex mix.
The Lagniappe starts off with a better foundation. Normal saline (as you may have read in the description of The Essential) doesn't contain the potassium (good for leg cramps and restless leg), calcium (good for bones and the immune system), or sodium lactate that are contained in Ringer's Lactate, which is the base of our "banana bag", The Lagniappe.
We all have good doses of magnesium (great as a muscle relaxant), folic, and thiamine. The difference comes in the fluid AND the other vitamins. Most of the IV spas in the country which use pre-made IV bags (check, there are LOTS of these places) and even most of the ones that mix their own, use the same "vita" infusion multi-vitamin from the same nationwide pharmacy. There's nothing wrong with it. It's a mixture of B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6. Perfectly good stuff. We get some stuff from that place. That said, it's not a great "multi-vitamin", if that's what you need, because it's really just a mixture of low-concentration B vitamins.
We use Infuvite by Baxter. It's the mother of all multi-vitamins. It is a strong mixture of
so, definitely much better. Heck, it comes in TWO bottles, 5mL from each bottle. That's called "not playing around".
That's where the "something extra" comes from in The Lagniappe. We are one of the only IV centers in the country that uses this expensive multi-vitamin for our "vitamin drip", and we're proud of it. It's not used in "IV spa" settings because most people wouldn't know the difference and it's not really profitable to use it when you could substitute something less powerful, but when someone really needs vitamins in the hospital, Infuvite is generally what they get. Why shouldn't you get the good stuff too?
On another note, you might think the name "banana bag" comes from the fact that the solution contains potassium (which bananas are a great source of), or that the bag and bananas are yellow and potassium causes the yellow color, but as we discussed above most places use Normal Saline for their bag bases and there's no potassium anywhere in the bag, and the name really comes from the yellow color the bag turns when the other ingredients are added.
The Lagniappe is a great "next step up" for people who have REALLY sweated out a bunch of fluids and electrolytes, for people who haven't been able to keep up with proper nutrition due to travel or work, and folks who just plain don't maintain a decent diet full of fruits and vegetables. It's generally our most popular IV treatment because it isn't a banana bag, it's a BUNCH of bananas bag.