What would happen if you injected water into your veins?

What would happen if you injected water into your veins?


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Your blood is isotonic, which means it contains a certain level of electrolytes including sodium, potassium, chlorine, magnesium, calcium, the list goes on.

Injecting pure water without any electrolytes, especially sodium chloride, causes a hypotonic condition. The water will be absorbed rapidly into the red and white blood cells, causing them to rupture (water is drawn into the more hypertonic cell). These ruptured cells will cause blockages in your kidneys, causing renal failure, and can cause a stroke as they block capillaries in your brain.

The extent of the damage depends on the amount of water injected. Although you could a transient fever from pyrogens in unsterile, pyrogen free water, you could also get a septicemia (blood infection) from unfiltered Bacteria.

All in all, a bad idea.


Your dream of being aquawomen wont come true. I would research this before even thinking of doing this. It can be very dangerous and you are risking your life.


If you took some tap water and injected, say, 10 cc or so into a vein, you might get a transient temperature if there are pyretic elements in the tap water, but so long as you use aseptic technique, I don't expect anything horrible to happen. If you start injecting a large volume of water into your vein rapidly, you electrolytes will become very deranged, dangerously so, in fact. The answer is what exact kind of water, e.g. distilled, pyretic free, normal saline, half normal (.45% NaCl), the volume and rate of infusion as well. So there's a lot of factors to take into consideration. Your best bet is to leave any injections of intravenous fluids to professionals.


Ohmygosh Ive always wondered this! I googled it a while back and it said you'd go unconscious... It has something to do with having too much water in yoru system...


If it's a little bit of water and it's sterile, nothing will happen.

But if it isn't sterile you could get a systemic infection that could be life-threatening, and if it's a lot of water you could diminish the ability of your blood to carry enough oxygen, which could cause anything from being tired to being dead.


the water would spread throughout the body by osmosis .. injecting a lot might cause some cells to explode due to too much water


Probably burst the vein if you screwed up majorly, if you just used plain water you would probably cause problems until the natural flow balanced the differing densities. I expect if that happened in the brain or heart it could kill you.


If the water was sterile, nothing. If it came from the tap, infection is probably the most likely result. Why do you ask?