New York City IV Infiltration Attorneys


As patients, nursing errors are not something we hope to ever encounter. We trust that our primary care physicians, our physician’s assistants, and our nurses will put their best efforts forward when it comes to advocating for our health. Yet, it has been noted recently that one in seven Medicare patients were found to be victims of medical errors tracing back to errors made on the parts of nurses, including the devastating situation of intravenous (IV) infiltration. An error of IV infiltration should never occur if the nurse takes correct care and knows how to administer an IV. What is a nursing error of intravenous infiltration, and how can it be prevented?

What is a Nursing Error of IV Infiltration?

Medical malpractice comes in many forms, and one of those forms is on the part of the nurse through a nursing error. Nursing errors are caused by lack of attention to detail, distractions in the hospital and inadvertent gauge of dispensing medications or inserting an IV. An error of IV infiltration should not occur if the administered drugs are diluted properly and are administered correctly.

There are two terms that are often confused when it comes to IVs. Those terms are distinguished in process by the solution that is injected into the veins: Infiltration and Extravasations, similar terms with slight differences. Infiltration is when a solution moves out of the veins into the surrounding tissue, and is identified as such because the fluid is a non-irritant. Because the solution is non-irritating, the damage will likely be minimal—causing only slight, mild discomfort. The nurse can then insert the IV elsewhere. Extraversion, on the other hand, is the insertion of a solution that is an irritant, inadvertently administered into the surrounding tissue instead of the vein where it was intended to be inserted. The patient will feel severe discomfort and possible burning. This scenario is what leads to a severe IV infiltration error.

Preventing a Nursing Error for IV Infiltration

Proper insertion of an IV is fundamental task of a nurse. Over time, a seasoned nurse will do thousands of IV insertions. If you have been administered a solution intravenously for treatment of an illness or procedure, you may have noticed a slight burning sensation. If that burning sensation continued, and the nurse reassured you that it was normal, you might reconsider whether the nurse was doing her routine job, or whether she performed something that led to a more serious condition. If a nurse indicated she performed the procedure correctly, she may pass off excuses, such as pain due to the needle being too close to the nerve, when in fact the procedure was performed incorrectly and may be exacerbating. Here are some factors you may want to explore to ensure that your nurse performed IV insertion correctly:

  • Was the site right for insertion? Many times nurses will use the top of the hand. That skin is not as thick and may be prone to needle slippage, causing the needle to stray away from where it was intended.
  • Was the needle property secured once inserted?
  • Was the IV site checked after you were moved from a bed, stretcher or chair to make sure it did not move from its original insertion site?
  • Did you indicate a severe pain or burning sensation and were not treated?
  • Once the nurse discovered something abnormal, did she do anything to resolve the issue by performing a proper treatment?
  • Were actions documented and clinical signs noted?
  • Was the situation monitored?
  • Were proper steps taken to ensure a normal procedure?
  • Was the correct catheter size used, and did the site of insertion align with the size of the catheter?

Using a checklist like the one above shows how critical it is to ensure that IVs are administered properly. Yet, even the nurses who perform this task on a routine basis can make mistakes. Nurses are saddled with high degrees of stress, both within themselves, and on the parts of their patients. They are often stressed by the perception that they maybe be unable to carry out their advanced responsibilities. They find themselves in unsupported leadership roles, and struggle with conflicts of various relationships. Unequipped, they often take the place of doctors in routine situations. Therefore, the standard of care becomes diminished to those patients on the receiving end of a nurse’s critical care.

What are Symptoms of IV Infiltration?

Signs and symptoms of IV infiltration can present themselves fairly early as the amount of fluid seeps into surrounding tissue, and can include:

  • swelling in that area
  • the skin being cool to the touch
  • leakage at the insertion site
  • the area of insertion feeling “tight”
  • a burning sensation that surfaces to the skin, changing its appearance

In a severe case, the limb could immobilize and lead to the patient’s inability to move the fingers. This can also cause extended damage to the nerves, arteries and muscles and require surgery to prevent permanent loss of functionality. Many vesicant drugs and solutions are administered to patients; a variety are more common and have been known to cause extravasations. Some of those solutions include:

  • Vancomycin
  • Acyclovir
  • Ganciclovir
  • Gentamicin
  • Phenytoin
  • Amphotericin
  • Cefotaxime

The degree of irritant to the patient can range from mild skin reaction to severe necrosis (tissue death), and should be addressed as early as possible if severe reaction presents.

Do You Have a Case for Nursing Error of IV Infiltration?

As patients we want to trust that our health care providers and nurses are doing what they can to act in our best interests and steer us in the right direction for health and wellness. But, even the most comforting and capable nurses have found themselves in a lawsuit due to nursing errors from IV infiltration. If you or someone you know believes they have a case of IV infiltration through a nursing error you may have to determine first whether there is validity to what you believe. Could the situation have been prevented had care been done differently, or if someone else had stepped in to take over or perform the procedure differently?

Legal Help for Nursing Errors IV Infiltration

A medical malpractice case is time-consuming and lengthy if the patient is seeking to find the solutions without the help of a capable law firm. Obtaining access to documentation, subpoenaing records, uncovering witness accounts and enlisting professional opinions are all parts of what will be involved in a medical malpractice or nursing error case.

A nursing error lawsuit may be difficult to prove and is best handled in the care of an experienced law firm who is renowned for personal injury cases. While some pieces of the case may be obvious, many other issues will need to be uncovered over time. A victim in a nursing error lawsuit case may have the potential to receive monetary damages for past and future medical expenses, and costs of care giving over the years if the situation resulted in severe injury or damage to arteries or organs. These cases are best handled by a reputable law firm such as Finz & Finz, P.C.,, experienced in settlements related to medical malpractice. Without any obligation, we invite you to fill out and submit our Free Nursing Error IV Infiltration Evaluation form, or contact us toll free to (855) TOP-FIRM to further discuss your situation. The firm also handles all type of medical malpractice cases including the following conditions:

  • Birth defects
  • Strokes
  • Liver cancer
  • Cervical or vaginal cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Osteoporosis

If you or someone you know has experienced improper IV insertion that resulted in IV infiltration, the team at Finz & Finz, P.C., consists of attorneys renowned for achieving desirable results you need to find the compensation you deserve. The lawyers and paralegals at the firm are standing by to answer your questions to help you achieve the compensation you deserve.