IV infiltration and extravasation are complications related to intravenous (IV) therapy, where fluid unintentionally enters the surrounding tissue instead of the vein. The difference between the two lies in the type of fluid that leaks: in infiltration, it's a non-vesicant (non-irritating) solution, whereas extravasation involves a vesicant (irritating or damaging) solution.

The side effects of these complications can vary depending on the type and amount of fluid, the location of the IV, and how long the fluid has been leaking into the tissue. Common side effects include:

For both Infiltration and Extravasation:

  • Swelling and puffiness around the IV site, which may spread depending on the amount of fluid that has escaped into the tissue.
  • Pain or discomfort at or near the IV site, which can range from mild to severe depending on the extent of the tissue damage.
  • Tightness in the affected area, which may restrict movement, especially if the infiltration or extravasation occurs near a joint.
  • Coolness of the skin around the IV site, as the leaked fluid may reduce blood flow to the area.
  • Reduced or lost IV flow, which can lead to a lack of therapeutic effect of the administered medication or fluid.

Specific to Extravasation:

  • Blistering and redness of the skin due to the irritating nature of the leaked vesicant fluid.
  • Tissue necrosis, a severe outcome where the tissue around the infiltration site begins to die. This is more common with extravasation of vesicant drugs, which can cause significant damage to the surrounding tissues.
  • Infection, which can occur if the skin's protective barrier is compromised, allowing bacteria to enter.

Long-term effects can include:

  • Scarring, which may occur as the tissue heals from the inflammation and damage.
  • Loss of function, particularly if the infiltration or extravasation occurs near joints or in areas with dense nerve networks, which can lead to mobility issues or neuropathy (nerve pain or damage).

Treatment typically involves stopping the IV infusion, removing the IV catheter, elevating the affected limb to reduce swelling, applying a cold or warm compress depending on the type of fluid that was infused, and closely monitoring the site. In cases of severe extravasation, especially with vesicant drugs, more aggressive treatments like surgery or the administration of antidotes may be necessary.

If you suspect you're experiencing IV infiltration or extravasation, it's important to alert healthcare professionals immediately to minimize complications and manage symptoms effectively.

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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