I.V. Infiltration is often the source of terrible and unnecessary injury during hospitalization. Most patients admitted to a hospital will receive an IV containing fluids, medication, or a combination of the two. Several commonly administered IV fluids and medications have the potential to cause serious injury if the fluid escapes the vein and “infiltrates” into the surrounding tissue. These “extravasation” injuries are frequently the result of medical negligence.
Major Causes of IV Injury Include:
- Incorrect IV size
- Improper needle insertion
- Administering IV fluids at an excessive rate
- Administering incorrect or over-concentrated IV fluids
- Failing to adequately monitor patients
Accidental infiltration of intravenous fluids can often lead to debilitating and painful injuries. In cases where the IV fluid carries a potential to destroy tissue, full thickness skin destruction and serious nerve, muscle, and tendon damage can quickly occur. Skins graphs are needed to heal the wound, and the damage to the underlying tissue never fully heals, leaving the patient partially disabled.