IV Infiltration and Complications
Posted in Medical Malpractice on July 20, 2021
Intravenous drip feeds, also known as IVs, help deliver fluids such as blood, medication, and nutrients to patients. To administer an IV, a doctor places a needle into a patient’s vein, puts a plastic catheter over the needle, and tapes the catheter into place while removing the needle, allowing fluids to directly enter the bloodstream.
While IVs are commonplace in many treatments, complications can arise while administering them—causing serious harm to patients. If you are injured due to the negligent placement of an IV, you may be eligible for a medical malpractice claim.
What Is IV Infiltration?
IV infiltration is common complication that occurs when a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional misplaces an IV. Instead of administering fluid inside of a vein, the IV leaks into the surrounding tissue—leading to serious patient injuries. In addition to improper placement, IV infiltration can occur when a needle pierces a vein, the provider uses the wrong catheter size, or when the IV becomes dislodged in some way. Medical providers need to continuously monitor patients to ensure that IV infiltration does not occur.
Symptoms of IV infiltration include the following.
- White or blanched skin
- Swelling or redness
- A burning sensation
- Leaking fluid
- Wet bandages
- Slowed or stopped flow of liquid
IV infiltration can lead to serious injuries and complications. A patient may develop permanent skin damage, such as sores, scars, blisters, or ulcers, and experience infections as a result of his or her wound. Permanent nerve damage may also occur, and the patient may experience disability in the affected limb. In serious cases, the patient may need to have their limb amputated entirely.
Medical Malpractice Liability After IV Infiltration
In many cases, IV infiltration occurs due to the negligence of a medical professional. Healthcare providers have a duty to help patients avoid IV injuries by properly inserting needles, monitoring patients and IV sites regularly, choosing the right size catheter, and following all necessary safety protocols. If a doctor, nurse, or other staff member fails to uphold this duty of care, he or she may be liable for any damages that a patient suffers.
If you experience IV infiltration injuries while receiving medical care, you may be eligible for a medical malpractice claim. Through a lawsuit against the at-fault healthcare provider, you can recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the injury. However, you will need to prove four key facts in order to secure an award.
- The at-fault medical provider owed you a duty of care.
- The at-fault medical provider breached his or her duty of care.
- The breach of duty caused the IV infiltration and your resulting injuries.
- You sustained damages due to the IV infiltration that you can collect in your lawsuit.
Why You Need an IV Infiltration Lawyer
Proving a medical malpractice claim can be very complex, especially in IV infiltration cases. You may need extensive medical evidence and expert witness testimony to prove your claim. The at-fault healthcare professional may claim that you are partially responsible for your injuries, stating that your movement caused the IV to become dislodged. In these situations, you need an attorney on your side.
A Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to prove your right to compensation and hold the at-fault provider accountable. As soon as possible following your injury, contact an attorney to discuss your optimal path to recovery.