Intravenous (IV) therapy is a common medical procedure, and both IV infiltration and IV extravasation are potential complications associated with it. Despite their similarities, there are important differences between the two:
- Definition: IV infiltration occurs when the fluid being administered through an IV leaks out of the vein and into the surrounding tissue. This can happen if the IV catheter becomes dislodged or if the vein wall is punctured.
- Causes: It can be caused by improper placement or securing of the IV catheter, movement of the patient or the catheter, or fragile veins that are easily damaged.
- Symptoms: Symptoms include swelling, discomfort, coolness, and tightness in the area around the IV site. The skin may also appear pale and tight due to the accumulation of fluid.
- Severity: While it can be uncomfortable, IV infiltration is generally less serious than extravasation. The severity depends on the volume and type of fluid that has infiltrated the tissue.
- Definition: IV extravasation is a more severe form of infiltration that occurs when a vesicant (a substance that can cause tissue blistering and damage) is accidentally administered into the tissue surrounding a vein, rather than the vein itself.
- Causes: This complication is often associated with the administration of certain chemotherapy drugs or other medications that are known to be vesicants.
- Symptoms: Symptoms are more severe and include intense pain, blistering, and the potential for significant tissue damage. The affected area may also show signs of inflammation and necrosis (tissue death).
- Severity: Extravasation is considered a medical emergency due to the potential for severe tissue damage. Immediate intervention is required to minimize harm.
- Substance Involved: Infiltration can occur with any IV fluid or medication, whereas extravasation specifically involves vesicant drugs or substances.
- Severity of Outcome: Extravasation generally has the potential for more serious complications due to the nature of the substances involved.
- Management: Both conditions require immediate attention, but the management of extravasation often involves more specific interventions, such as the administration of antidotes, careful monitoring, and possibly surgical intervention to minimize tissue damage.
In any case of suspected infiltration or extravasation, prompt assessment and intervention by healthcare professionals are crucial to prevent complications and ensure patient safety.
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.