IV infiltration is insidious. Many times, the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are completely unaware it has happened until serious damage has been done to the patient. IV infiltration occurs when the IV fluids being administered leak into surrounding tissue either due to a misplaced IV or because the IV becomes dislodged.
IV infiltration happens every day, damaging the health of patients. Potential complications include:
- Localized or generalized swelling and edema
- Skin that is cool to the touch
- Improper maintenance of medication blood levels
Edema can cause significant health issues, including damage to the cardiovascular system, if left undiagnosed and untreated. And failure to maintain proper blood levels of medication can have drastic consequences, dependent upon the medication being administered. If a pain killer is being given intravenously, and the medication diffuses into nearby tissue instead of being able to serve its purpose, the patient can be left insignificant and unnecessary agony. IV antibiotics that spill into surrounding tissue leave the patient at risk for infection.
IV infiltration happens much too often, and many hospitals lack good protocols for preventing it or diagnosing it quickly. Luckily, more and more facilities are starting to use products like ivWatch, LLCs monitors. Vizient, Inc. announced a significant grant to ivWatch, LLC on August 29th, 2017, with the goal of making these monitors even more commonly available. With a quality monitor in place, the risk of complications from IV infiltration is drastically reduced.
If you or someone you love has suffered due to IV infiltration, be aware that this is entirely preventable. There is no reason anyone’s health should be unduly damaged by a misplaced needle. Please, consult with an experienced attorney regarding your legal options to hold the medical facility accountable for their actions.