IV Infiltration or Extravasation Claims
Patients in hospitals and medical facilities often receive medications and fluids intravenously in the hand or arm. The fluids are introduced into the body through an intravenous catheter, also referred to as an IV catheter or line. This is an extremely common procedure conducted by nurses and other medical professionals. In most instances there are no complications. However, when the IV line is defective, improperly inserted, contaminated or negligently managed or monitored, complications can and do occur. IV infiltration and extravasation errors often result in damaged veins and tissue. Other serious injuries include amputation, disfigurement and nerve damage. Fatalities are not uncommon.
Basic Difference Between IV Infiltration and IV Extravasation
Both IV infiltration and IV extravasation occur when the IV solution leaks from the intended vein and finds its way into bodily tissue. IV Infiltration pertains to a non-vesicant solution, and extravasation pertains to a vesicant solution. Infiltration generally results in less damage although injuries can require surgery and result in extreme disability. According to the National Cancer Institute: “Vesicants cause blistering and other tissue injury that may be severe and can lead to tissue necrosis (tissue death).”
Common Results of IV Infiltration Errors:
- Nerve damage – often permanent
- Burns that may require skin grafts
- Amputation of the damaged extremity
- Blisters, ulcerations, scarring
- Toxicity, poisoning
IV infiltration and extravasation errors are often caused by the negligence of the nurse or other medical professional conducting the IV procedure:
- Improper insertion site – the site may be inadequate for the IV needle
- Using unsterile IV catheters, needles, lines, tubing and other apparatus
- Failure to properly or adequately clean the skin at the insertion site
- Failure to keep the site sterile
- Failing to properly tape down or otherwise secure the needle
- Failure to respond to the patient’s complaint of extreme pain or burning
- Failure to utilize the proper size catheter
- Failure to check or monitor the patient’s IV after the patient moved, changed beds, used the bathroom, etc. An IV can be jarred out of the skin with relative ease.
- Failure to regularly monitor and assess the patient’s IV
- Failure to document the procedure and/or the patient’s comments/complaints
- Failure to ask for help from a physician or other medical professional when so needed
- Many other errors of negligence, inattention and/or improper procedure
Compensatory Damages for Victims of IV Infiltration and Extravasation Injuries and Deaths
If you were injured by an IV infiltration or extravasation error, you may be entitled to recover compensatory damages for negligence in a personal injury, hospital medical malpractice or product liability lawsuit. Damages for injured victims may potentially include compensation for past, present and future medical expenses resulting from the injury, lost income, pain and suffering and more.
In cases were infiltration or extravasation leads to death, the damages for the legal heirs of deceased victims (e.g., spouse, children, parents and others as provided by Florida’s Wrongful Death Statute 768.21) may potentially include lost support and services, loss of decedent’s companionship, spouse’s mental pain and suffering, loss of parental companionship, instruction and guidance, reimbursement for medical and funeral expenses, and more. The decedent’s estate may recover damages for lost earnings, lost net accumulations, medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses and more.
You can reach Miami Personal 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].