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IV Infiltration and Complications

Medical Malpractice Lawyers Assisting Patients in the Ocala Area

An intravenous catheter is often put in a vein of an arm or hand in order to deliver fluid or medication to a patient. However, there are complications associated with IV access, including IV infiltration, hematoma, an air embolism, phlebitis, extravascular drug administration, and intra-arterial injection. Tissue necrosis, loss of limb function, nerve damage, a need for an amputation, spinal cord injuries, permanent neurological disorders, and serious infections may result. If you suffer from IV infiltration and complications, the Ocala medical malpractice lawyers at the Dean Law Firm can help you investigate whether you have a claim for compensation.

Situations Involving IV Infiltration and Complications

IV infiltration occurs when fluid or medications infuse the soft tissue outside the intravascular space. This complication can be very painful. It is usually caused by the improper placement of a needle or angiocath. If you are experiencing IV infiltration, you will notice swelling, and your skin will be pale, firm, and cool. While a bit of IV fluid leaking out of the IV might not have an effect, some medications can present a very serious threat to the soft tissue around it.

One study of 67 patients who developed IV complications while hospitalized showed that infiltration was a common complication. Less than half experienced a temporary infiltration with no long-term damage, while six had a major episode of infiltration that resulted in a long-term impact.

Minor complications can become more serious. For example, cellulitis is a bacterial infection, and if it occurs at a break in skin, it can be a complication of IV infiltration. Symptoms include fever, pain, redness, and warmth. The bacteria can spread through the body and are potentially dangerous. Patients who notice a symptom should let a health care provider know. IV infiltration can also result in damage to the nerves in the arm or hand, wherever the IV has been inserted. This can result in a loss of hand function or numbness or tingling.

Complications can be results of both improper placement and insertion, as well as inadequate staff monitoring. Every patient assumes that doctors, nurses, and other health care providers will take appropriate steps to protect them from injuries at a facility. This could include continuous monitoring and making sure that there is blood backflow into the tubing while IV fluid is being delivered. All medical professionals should be trained on the policies and procedures about how to properly insert and effectively use the catheter. However, sometimes substandard care or improper training causes serious injuries. When that is the case, you may have a claim for medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider's actions or omissions deviate from the professional standard of care, and the deviation causes injuries and damages. The professional standard of care is based on what a reasonably prudent provider of the same kind would do given that set of circumstances. In most cases, it is necessary for your attorney to retain an experienced and credible expert to testify about how a doctor or nurse's actions deviated from the professional standard of care, and how this caused IV infiltration and complications that resulted in damages.

Damages that you may be able to recover in a successful medical malpractice lawsuit include medical bills, lost wages, replacement services (such as household services), pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment. When there is long-term harm to a patient, or a patient dies, there may be harm to other family members as a result of the malpractice. It may be possible for a spouse to recover loss of consortium damages. When a patient dies, their family can bring a wrongful death lawsuit.

Explore Your Options with an Ocala Lawyer

At the Dean Law Firm, our experienced trial attorneys may be able to sue a health care provider on your behalf if you have been harmed by IV infiltration and related complications. We also serve the families of patients harmed by medical malpractice in Ocala, The Villages, Crystal River, and other areas of Citrus, Levy, Sumter, Marion, and Lake Counties. Contact us at 352-387-8700 or use our online form.