At some point in their lives, most people will need to get an IV. Whether for serious medical reasons or to receive IV therapy, IVs are common and serve many important purposes.

IV insertion can be tricky and challenging, but you trust that trained medical professionals will do it properly. However, on some occasions, physicians and nurses fail to use the care they should when inserting and monitoring IVs, resulting in IV infiltration.

IV and IV Infiltration Explained

IV stands for intravenous, meaning “within the vein.” An IV is a thin tube with a needle that goes into the vein to deliver fluids, blood products, or nutrition. IVs are most often used by healthcare providers to quickly and effectively administer necessary drugs. 

IVs are inserted into the vein where the needle will remain as long as is necessary. When IV infiltration occurs, fluids from the IV leak out of the vein and into the surrounding tissue. This can be particularly dangerous and result in severe injury to the patient.

How Does IV Infiltration Happen?

IV infiltration can happen in several ways, including the following:

  • Wrongful insertion
  • Inserting it into an area with natural bend and movement, like the elbow
  • Getting the IV caught in something, causing it to pull

It is the responsibility of the physician or nurse inserting the IV to not only do so carefully and precisely, but also to monitor your IV. Monitoring your IV can help avoid any issues.

What Are the Symptoms of IV Infiltration?

In some situations, you may not necessarily feel when IV infiltration has occurred. However, there are usually telling signs that suggest IV infiltration. 

The common symptoms indicating IV infiltration include:

  • Redness, swelling, or hard skin around the IV site
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Blanching (skin lightening around the IV)
  • Wet dressing around the IV
  • The IV not working properly

Experienced medical professionals should be able to identify IV infiltration and begin treatment to avoid further complications. 

Treating IV Infiltration

Once the IV infiltration has been discovered, the very first thing to do is stop the fluids and remove the IV as soon as possible.

Elevating the affected area and applying warm or cold compresses can help with swelling and discomfort.

Other treatments vary, depending on what was being administered through the IV. In some cases, there may need to be additional medication given for the IV infiltration.

IV Infiltration Can Result in Serious Complications

In the worst cases, IV infiltration can cause severe and sometimes long-term complications, such as: 

  • Nerve damage in the surrounding area
  • Burns
  • Scarring
  • Skin ulcers and blisters
  • Diminished use of the affected extremity
  • Amputation

Complications usually depend on the fluid or medication the IV was being used for and how long the IV infiltration had occurred before the fluids were stopped and the IV removed.

Liability for IV Infiltration

In Florida, if you suffer from IV infiltration, your healthcare provider may be liable.

Negligence by a doctor or nurse often results in mistakes and oversight. If your doctor or nurse inserted your IV incorrectly, didn’t monitor your IV consistently, or allowed the infiltration to occur without intervention, they could be held liable. 

Holding the responsible party accountable can allow you to pursue compensation for the unnecessary injuries and losses you suffer from your experience with IV infiltration.

Consult a Medical Malpractice Attorney If A Healthcare Professional’s Negligence Caused IV Infiltration

If you experience IV infiltration and suffer serious medical complications, discuss your case with a qualified medical malpractice attorney. A lawyer can review the details of your situation and determine how best to proceed to determine liability and help you seek financial recovery. 

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm Of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers To Get The Help Your Deserve

If you need help with your injury case or you want to learn more information, please call the Personal Injury law firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers at (727) 787-2500 or visit the nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.

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