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Administering fluids or medications via an intravenous (IV) catheter needle is a routine medical procedure. Doctors and nurses administer IVs when conducting a variety of types of medical procedures, and patients who need to remain in the hospital before or after treatment frequently receive IVs to manage their pain or help keep them stable.

But, while IVs can serve a variety of important medical purposes, they can also be dangerous if not administered properly—or if the patient does not receive adequate monitoring and appropriate care.

Understanding the Risks of IV Infiltration

One of the greatest risks associated with IVs is the risk of IV infiltration. This is a condition that occurs when the catheter needle either: (i) is not inserted properly or (ii) becomes dislodged under the patient’s skin. Various issues can lead to IV infiltration, including (but not limited to):

  • Inserting the needle to the wrong depth or at the wrong angle, which can result in the needle missing the patient’s blood vessel or piercing all the way through the blood vessel
  • Multiple failed attempts to insert the needle into the patient’s blood vessel, which can damage the blood vessel and allow for infiltration
  • Using a catheter needle that is too large for the patient, which can also damage the blood vessel
  • Setting an incorrect IV flow rate, which can cause the needle to push out of the patient’s blood vessel
  • Failing to adequately advise the patient regarding the risk of dislodgement or failing to adequately monitor the patient

When a patient experiences IV infiltration, the most immediate symptoms are typically swelling, redness and discomfort, which often manifests as a burning sensation. However, if not treated promptly, IV infiltration can cause nerve and tissue damage, compartment syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome and other potential long-term effects. In severe cases, IV infiltration can lead to paralysis or the need for amputation of the affected limb, and, tragically, failure to properly treat infiltration can prove fatal in some cases.

Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim for IV Infiltration in Fort Lauderdale

Patients and families affected by IV infiltration in Fort Lauderdale will often have claims for medical malpractice. Healthcare providers can (and should) prevent IV infiltration in most cases, and when infiltration occurs, providers should be able to diagnose and treat the issue before it leads to long-term or fatal complications. As a result, potential medical malpractice claims for IV infiltration include:

  • Improper IV administration
  • Failure to properly advise or monitor the patient
  • Failure to timely diagnose (or misdiagnosis of) IV infiltration
  • Failure to timely and properly treat IV infiltration

When you contact us about your case, our lawyers will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your (or your family’s) legal rights. We will listen to you and use the medical records you provide to determine if you may have a claim. If it appears that your (or your loved one’s) IV infiltration was the result of medical malpractice, we will investigate further, and then we will take all of the steps that are necessary to seek just compensation on your (or your family’s) behalf.