Infiltration and extravasation are potential complications of intravenous (IV) therapy, involving the leakage of IV fluid or medication into the surrounding tissue. Infiltration occurs when the fluid leaks into the tissue around the IV site, while extravasation is more severe and involves the leakage of vesicant drugs, which can cause tissue damage. Here are several strategies to avoid these complications:

  1. Proper IV Site Selection:

    • Choose an appropriate vein for cannulation, considering the size, depth, and flow of the vein. Avoid veins in areas of flexion or veins that have been previously compromised.
  2. Use of Appropriate Cannula Size:

    • Select a cannula size that is suitable for the vein and the type of infusion. Larger cannulas in small veins increase the risk of complications.
  3. Secure Cannulation Technique:

    • Ensure proper cannulation technique, including skin antisepsis, use of a tourniquet for vein distention, and minimal needle insertion attempts. A skilled clinician should perform the cannulation.
  4. Stabilization of the IV Catheter:

    • Secure the catheter properly to minimize movement and reduce the risk of dislodgement or vein irritation. Use appropriate dressings or securement devices.
  5. Regular Monitoring and Assessment:

    • Regularly inspect the IV site for signs of infiltration or extravasation, such as swelling, redness, pain, or coolness at the site. Assess the infusion site before, during, and after the administration of medication.
  6. Patient Education and Communication:

    • Educate the patient about the signs and symptoms of infiltration and extravasation. Encourage them to report any discomfort, pain, or changes at the IV site immediately.
  7. Use of Infusion Devices:

    • Consider using infusion pumps or controllers for accurate delivery of IV fluids and medications, which can help prevent excessive pressure that might contribute to infiltration.
  8. Appropriate Fluid and Medication Administration:

    • Administer vesicant drugs and irritant solutions carefully, possibly using a central line for these substances to reduce the risk of extravasation.
  9. Prompt Intervention:

    • If infiltration or extravasation is suspected, immediately stop the infusion, assess the extent of the infiltration or extravasation, and follow the protocol for managing the complication, which may include elevating the limb, applying warm or cold compresses (as appropriate), and administering antidotes if available.
  10. Use of Ultrasound Guidance:

    • For difficult IV access, consider using ultrasound guidance to visualize the vein and needle, reducing the risk of misplacement and subsequent infiltration or extravasation.

Implementing these strategies can significantly reduce the risk of infiltration and extravasation during IV therapy, improving patient safety and comfort.

You can reach IV Infiltration and Extravasation 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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