IV (intravenous) infiltrations and extravasations are complications that can occur during intravenous therapy, where fluid leaks out of the vein into the surrounding tissue. They are similar conditions, but they differ in terms of the type of fluid or medication that leaks. Here are the causes for each:
IV infiltration occurs when non-vesicant (non-irritating) solutions or medications leak into the surrounding tissue. Causes include:
- Improper Catheter Placement: If the catheter is not properly inserted into the vein or becomes dislodged, fluids can escape into the surrounding tissue.
- Vein Perforation: The vein may be accidentally perforated during catheter insertion, allowing fluids to leak out.
- Dislodged Catheter: Movement of the patient or the IV line can cause the catheter to slip out of the vein.
- Vein Fragility: Certain conditions, such as aging, use of corticosteroids, or diseases like diabetes, can make veins more fragile and susceptible to damage.
- Repeated Needle Sticks: Frequent cannulation in the same area can weaken the vein wall, leading to infiltration.
- High Infusion Pressure: Excessive pressure from the infusion pump can force fluid out of the vein.
- Inadequate Securement: Failure to properly secure the IV catheter can lead to movement and eventual dislodgement from the vein.
Extravasation refers specifically to the leaking of vesicant (irritating) substances, which can cause tissue damage, necrosis, and even serious complications. Causes include:
- Vesicant Nature of Medication: Certain medications and solutions are known to cause tissue damage if they leak into the surrounding tissue.
- Catheter Displacement or Misplacement: Similar to infiltration, if the catheter is not properly placed or becomes displaced, vesicant medications can leak.
- Vein Irritation and Perforation: Repeated or prolonged administration of certain drugs can irritate and eventually perforate the vein wall.
- High Infusion Rates: Administering medication at a high rate can increase the risk of extravasation, especially with vesicant drugs.
- Patient Factors: Conditions that affect vascular integrity, such as advanced age, vascular disease, or previous radiation therapy, can increase the risk.
Preventing IV infiltrations and extravasations involves careful selection of the vein, proper insertion and securement of the catheter, ongoing monitoring of the IV site, and patient education to report any discomfort or changes around the IV site promptly.
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.