Complications of IV therapy

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  1. Findings for Infiltration
    pallor, local swelling at the site, decreased skin temperature around the site, damp dressing, slowed infusion
  2. Treatment for Infiltration
    • stop the infusion and remove the catheter
    • elevate the extremity
    • encourage active ROM
    • apply warm compresses three to four times/day
    • restart the infusion proximal to the site or in another extremity
  3. Prevention of Infiltration
    • carefully select site and catheter
    • secure the catheter
  4. Findings for phlebitis/thrombophlebitis
    • edema
    • throbbing
    • burning or pain at the site
    • increased skin temperature
    • erythema
    • a red line up the arm with a palpable band at the vein site
    • slowed infusion
  5. Treatment of phlebitis/thrombophlebitis
    • same as infiltration
    • culture the site and catheter if drainage is present
  6. Prevention of phlebitis
    • rotate sites at least every 72 hours
    • avoid the lower extremities
    • use hand hygiene
    • use surgical aseptic technique
  7. Findings for hematoma
    ecchymosis at site
  8. Treatment of hematoma
    • do not apply alcohol
    • apply pressure after IV catheter removal
    • use warm compress and elevation after bleeding stops
  9. Prevention of hematoma
    • minimize tourniquet time
    • remove the tourniquet before starting IV infusion
    • maintain pressure after IV catheter removal
  10. Findings for cellulitis
    pain; warmth; edema; induration; red streaking; fever, chills and malaise
  11. Treatment for Cellulitis
    • same as phlebitis
    • administer: antibiotics, analgesics, and antipyretics
  12. Prevention of cellulitis
    - same as phlebitis
  13. Findings for Fluid overload
    • distended neck veins
    • increased blood pressure
    • tachycardia
    • shortness of breath
    • crackles in the lungs
    • edema
  14. Treatment for fluid overload
    • - stop infusion
    • - raise the HOB
    • - asses vital signs
    • - adjust rate as prescribed
    • - administer diuretics if prescribed
  15. Prevention of Fluid overload
    • - use an infusion pump
    • - monitor I&O
  16. Findings of catheter embolus
    • missing catheter tip when discontinued
    • severe pain at the site with migration
    • or no symptoms if no migration
  17. Treatment of catheter embolus
    • - place the tourniquet high on the extremity to limit venous flow
    • - prepare for removal under x-ray or via surgery
    • - save the catheter after removal to determine the cause
  18. Prevention of catheter embolus
    - do not reinsert the stylet into the catheter
Card Set
Complications of IV therapy
Complications of IV therapy
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