IV Injury / Infiltration
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IV Injury / Infiltration Attorney
IV infiltration injuries occur when either a mistake is made by the treater administering the shot, or because the IV itself is somehow damaged and does not function as it should. Both circumstances cause fluid to build up in the tissues surround the IV injection site. Depending on the medications or fluids being delivered through the IV, the surrounding tissues can sustain significant damage, which may lead to disabling complications.
Common causes of IV injury and IV infiltration include:
- Failure to properly monitor the IV flow rate, resulting in a high flow rate
- Improper insertion of the IV, causing the catheter to dislodge
- Repeated, failed attempts to insert the IV, causing trauma to the vein and surrounding nerves and tissue
- An oversized catheter is inserted
- Friction/pressure caused by the pulling of the catheter from the hand or arm resulting in vein erosion
- The vein that the IV is located in ruptures
There are a number of ways that an IV injury can be caused by human error, but in other instances, the IV catheter itself may be damaged and fail as a result. In either case, the main concern is that the infiltration is discovered in time to prevent long term damage. Failure to properly monitor the patient’s condition and respond to their complaints may cause the infiltration to go undiagnosed for a substantial period of time. This treatment delay can mean significant injury to the limb.
Symptoms of an IV infiltration
Patients may experience burning, pain or inflammation of the area. The skin may feel cool to touch. Dressings around the IV may be wet. The IV may stop working. The area around the IV may become tight.
Complications of an IV infiltration can be as simple as local pain to the area that resolves once the IV is stopped to compartment syndrome and tissue death. Where medical liability exists is with the most dramatic and debilitating complications of IV infiltration. Debilitating complications may involve tissue necrosis resulting in disfigurement and loss of function in the patient’s limbs, nerve damage, CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), or an air embolus, where air gets into the IV line during insertion, often resulting in death.
If you or someone you know has suffered an IV infiltration or IV injury, contact us today for a FREE and confidential IV Injury Consult.