Infiltration is a potential complication of intravenous (IV) therapy, occurring when the fluid being administered leaks into the surrounding tissue instead of the vein. Recognizing the signs of infiltration early is important to minimize discomfort and prevent more serious complications. Here are common indicators that an IV might be infiltrating:

  1. Swelling and Tightness: The site around the IV may become swollen, indicating that the fluid is accumulating in the tissue. The area may feel tight or appear larger compared to the other side or to its previous condition.

  2. Coolness and Pallor: The skin around the IV site might feel cooler to the touch compared to other areas. The skin may also appear paler or more blanched, which is a sign that the fluid is not entering the vein as intended.

  3. Pain and Discomfort: While some discomfort can be normal, a sudden increase in pain or a new onset of pain around the IV site could indicate infiltration. The pain might be described as sharp, burning, or stinging.

  4. Decreased or Stopped Flow Rate: If the IV fluid is not flowing as expected, or if the infusion pump alarms for an occlusion or pressure issue, it might be due to the needle or catheter becoming dislodged from the vein and the fluid infiltrating the surrounding tissue.

  5. Taut Skin and Blistering: In severe cases, the skin over the infiltrated area may become stretched and shiny. Blisters may form, indicating that the fluid has significantly accumulated and is causing pressure and irritation beneath the skin.

  6. Reduced or Lost Vein Visibility/Feeling: If the vein can no longer be seen or felt due to swelling and fluid accumulation, this might indicate infiltration, especially if the vein was previously visible or palpable.

If you suspect that your IV is infiltrating, it's important to notify a healthcare professional immediately. They can assess the situation, provide appropriate care, and re-establish IV access if necessary. Continuing to infuse fluid into infiltrated tissue can lead to complications such as infection, tissue damage, and in severe cases, compartment syndrome, which is a surgical emergency.

You can reach IV Infiltration and Extravasation Injury Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected] or by text at (305) 929-8935.

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.
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