IV infiltration and extravasation are complications related to intravenous (IV) therapy. Both conditions occur when fluid or medication leaks out of the vein into the surrounding tissue, but they differ in the type of fluid that leaks. Infiltration involves the leakage of a non-vesicant (non-irritating) solution, while extravasation refers to the leakage of a vesicant (irritating) solution, which can cause more severe tissue damage. Recognizing the signs of these conditions early is crucial for preventing more serious complications. Here are the common signs:
Signs of IV Infiltration:
- Swelling: The area around the IV site may begin to swell as the fluid accumulates in the tissue.
- Coolness: The skin around the IV site may feel cooler than the surrounding skin due to the infiltration of IV fluid.
- Pain or Discomfort: The patient may experience pain or discomfort around the IV site, which may worsen when the IV fluid is infused.
- Tightness: The skin around the IV site may feel tight or stretched due to the swelling.
- Decreased or Stopped Flow: The IV infusion may slow down or stop entirely because the vein is no longer able to accommodate the fluid.
- Blanching: The skin around the IV site may appear pale or blanched due to the pressure from the swelling.
Signs of IV Extravasation:
- Severe Pain: Extravasation often causes more intense pain than infiltration due to the irritating nature of the medication.
- Burning or Stinging Sensation: The patient may report a burning or stinging sensation at the IV site.
- Redness and Swelling: The area around the IV site may become red and swollen, which may spread more rapidly than with infiltration.
- Blistering or Ulceration: In severe cases, blistering or ulceration of the skin may occur due to the tissue damage caused by the vesicant medication.
- Change in Skin Color: The skin around the IV site may change color, showing signs of bruising or darkening due to tissue necrosis.
If any of these signs are noticed, it's important to immediately stop the infusion and notify a healthcare provider. The IV catheter may need to be removed, and specific treatments might be required, especially in the case of extravasation, to minimize tissue damage and manage symptoms.
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.