How would it be possible to indicate you have passed 2 days in the hospital and in those days they had gave me an IV and in a nonstop manner? Does the sentence below make any sense to you:

  • I was on a drip at the hospital for 2 days.

This is where I found the term on a drip

I didn't find any reliable source which can acknowledge the meaning. I don't remember when or when, but once I heard or read it somewhere and took it down to a piece of paper up to know. Asking this question I was going to make sure if the term works in this sense and I had got the meaning correctly or not.

I had a look on the similar thread, but there was no any indication to the idiom I was looking for. You hit 5 hits when you search the word "drip", but there is no similar idiom like what I was looking for. I mean: "to be on a drip"!

  • 1
    It is fine -- both grammatical and colloquial.
    – Mick
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 13:55
  • 1
    What is the problem with the linked to source? It includes the example in exactly the context your want.
    – James K
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 14:01
  • Do you have access to Google Ngram? books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – TimR
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 15:18
  • google.com/…
    – TimR
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 15:18
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Can we use "shot" for "serum"?
    – Andrew
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


As a medical student / former nurse, that makes perfect sense to me. I will use that expression too, though depending on who I am talking to I may prefer to say:

  • I have received parenteral rehydration for two days at the hospital
  • They pumped me full of water at the hospital for two whole days
  • I have been given 2L of NaCl during the last 48 hours at the hospital

English is a language spoken by a very large group of people and there is hardly any expression that 100% of speakers will know before you say it. Being on a drip at the hospital is quite easy to understand if you have ever seen an intravenous line dripping next to a patient.

A infusion bag with a drip module attached to it to verify the correct speed of flow

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