If you are reading this post, you probably have had an IV inserted into you at least once in your life. The use of an intravenous to deliver fluids and medications to patients is invaluable. Even though IV therapy has been used since the 1800s, doctors and nurses still make mistakes when using IVs. Of course, advances in medicine have made IV treatment a lot different than it was in the 19th century, but nonetheless, it seems odd that such a long standing treatment can still be carried out negligently.
The experienced Kingston medical malpractice attorney understands that medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, and any other person whom may insert and deliver IV medications to patients, must do so with care and competence.
Have you ever heard of something called IV infiltration? Sounds scary and it is. It can cause a lot of damage. What happens is that the fluid supposed to be delivered into the vein ends up outside of the vein. That fluid will build up around the place where the IV is inserted.
Remember what an IV looks like? It is a small needle hooked up to a tube. The tube leads to a pump and bag of fluid. The fluid could be mere saline, or it can contain medications. IV infiltration has many causes. Most of which are preventable. For example, the pump can malfunction and cause infiltration. Simple monitoring of the pump could prevent extensive damage. The speed at which the fluid is delivered can be adjusted; sometimes, the flow rate is too fast.
Other times, the IV needle actually penetrates through the entire vein. The wrong size IV needle is sometimes used. The IV needle itself can be defective. Even simple things like properly securing the IV can lead to infiltration. For example, the IV can fall out of the vein.
Have you ever heard of a procedure called, IV flushing? It is basically about cleaning and clearing out the IV. This can be done too rapidly/improperly, and this can cause damage to the vein. Veins have even been known to rupture.
All of the above can be due to the medical professional’s medical malpractice. The medical professional did something that should not have been done. Or he/she didn’t do something that should have been done. Unfortunately, these mistakes are not harmless.
Medical professionals should be monitoring the IV in order to catch these problems, but patient care is not always the best. So, what can go wrong when IV infiltration occurs? Here is a list of examples:
- Loss of limb function
- Air embolism
- Tissue burning
- Tissue necrosis
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.