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IV Infiltration Treatment

by | Mar 31, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

IV infiltration, or the leaking of liquids into the surrounding tissue, is a common issue in IV therapy. It may occur when catheters become clogged or dislodged, resulting in IV fluids leaking from the vein and causing irritation. The signs of IV infiltration include:


  • Redness surrounding the IV site
  • Swelling or puffiness around the site
  • Hardening of the skin around the site
  • Blanching or whitening of the skin
  • Pain or tenderness surrounding the IV site
  • IV flow lessening or stopped
  • The skin around the site cool to the touch

If you believe an IV infiltration has occurred, seek medical attention. A medical professional will evaluate the IV site. Next, if it is decided the IV infiltration is severe, additional staff members may be consulted when discussing treatment options. After that, the IV will be removed, and the site will be checked every hour until it returns to normal.


In order to treat IV infiltration, the site will be elevated to reduce swelling. Also, a warm or cold compress may be applied for thirty minutes every two or three hours to reduce swelling. If medication like hyaluronidase (Wydase) is recommended, it will be administered under the skin within twenty-four hours.


To prevent IV infiltration, especially in a child, you can do the following:

  • Let the medical staff know that, in the past, it has taken multiple attempts to place an IV 
  • Let a nurse know immediately when an IV dressing needs to change
  • Be careful when moving to prevent the IV from being bumped or dislodged
  • Do not pull on the IV
  • If an immobilizer is being used, leave it on
  • Keep sheets and bedding away from the IV site
  • If an IV appears not to be working, let a nurse or someone on the medical staff know

Depending on the IV infiltration severity, you may need to monitor the area after you are discharged from the hospital. Call your healthcare provider if the area appears to be getting worse, and you are experiencing blistering, increased swelling or puffiness, and skin opening. Go to the Emergency room if you have a temperature higher than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit. That is critical if children are the ones facing these complications. If the extremity with the IV site on it becomes blue or purple, it becomes cold, swollen, firm, or the patient can’t move their fingers or toes.


If you or a loved one have experienced IV infiltration malpractice, please get it taken care of as soon as possible. Then, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney today and think about filing an IV infiltration lawsuit.