| Read Time: 3 minutes | Medical Malpractice

IVs effectively administer fluids, medications, or blood products. However, there are risks associated with them, including IV infiltration.

Signs of IV infiltration can include swelling, redness, puffiness, and pain around the IV site. IV infiltration could lead to serious harm if not identified and managed promptly.

Read on to learn more about the meaning of IV filtration, potential IV infiltration signs, and when to seek legal assistance.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with a New Mexico medical malpractice lawyer, contact us today.

IV Therapy: A Basic Understanding 

IV therapy employs a simple yet effective technique. Medical professionals use a needle to puncture the vein and then place a plastic catheter over the needle.

They remove the needle, leaving the catheter in the vein to administer fluids. Unfortunately, IV therapy is not immune to errors, and one prevalent mishap is IV infiltrations.

What Is IV Filtration?

IV infiltration occurs when the fluid intended for the vein seeps into surrounding tissue instead. Causes may include a dislodged IV, a wrongly-sized catheter, or even a vein punctured by the IV.

Certain movements by the patient can also trigger IV infiltrations, emphasizing the importance of vigilant patient monitoring.

Signs of IV Infiltration 

Awareness is critical in preventing the escalation of IV infiltration. Signs to look out for include:

  • Swelling, discomfort, or redness around the IV site;
  • Skin appearing white, taut, or blanched;
  • Wet bandages or leaking fluid; and
  • Slowed or halted flow of the IV infusion.

Healthcare providers must keep a keen eye out for these symptoms at the IV site.

Complications of IV Infiltration 

If left unchecked, IV infiltration can escalate from mild discomfort to more severe complications such as:

  • Skin damage, including scars, blisters, sores, or ulcers;
  • Serious infections;
  • Permanent nerve damage;
  • Vein ruptures; and
  • Reduced functionality or amputation of the affected limb. 

Proper attention and care from medical staff can prevent these complications. When a healthcare provider fails to recognize signs of IV filtration, they might be guilty of medical negligence. 

Healthcare Provider Responsibilities 

Medical providers must uphold a certain standard of care. In the context of IV therapies, this involves proper IV insertion, right catheter selection, and adhering to safety protocols.

Regularly monitoring patients and their IV sites is crucial, as it could prevent serious IV infiltration complications.

When to Seek Legal Help 

You might have a valid New Mexico medical malpractice claim if you or a loved one suffered damages from an IV infiltration. If you recognize signs of IV infiltration, act fast.

Your health comes first, so always alert a medical professional who can assess the injury site. You’ll also want an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to discuss whether you have a viable claim. 

At Poulos & Coates, we are one of only a few firms solely focusing on medical malpractice cases. We are one of only two New Mexico firms with a lawyer who’s also a medical doctor.

You’ll also find we have an on-staff nurse who helps with malpractice cases. Our record of success speaks for itself, making us one of the best medical malpractice law firms in Las Cruces. 

With 70 years of combined legal experience, our New Mexico medical malpractice lawyers will tirelessly fight for the compensation you deserve.

Medical malpractice claims are complex, which is why we highly recommend consulting with a lawyer who primarily focuses on these types of claims.

Please contact our office to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about how we can assist you. 

Author Photo

Greig Coates, M.D., J.D.

Over the last thirty years, Dr. Coates has successfully represented plaintiffs in every conceivable type of medical malpractice lawsuit–from single-physician cases to complex litigation involving over a dozen doctors and several hospitals. Dr. Coates has taken several thousand physician depositions in his career involving every known physician specialty and sub-specialty, and almost as many depositions involving hospital personnel such as nurses, techs, and administrators. He has tried several dozen cases to successful verdicts.

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