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IV Infiltration and IV Extravasation: Can You File a Claim for Negligence in Either Instance?

Intravenous therapy, otherwise known as “IV therapy,” is a very common medical procedure in hospitals, medical centers, and even home care. IV therapy involves placing an intravenous catheter – a thin, flexible tube – into a patient’s vein in order to supply saline, medications, nutrients, or other vital fluids. IVs are used during and after surgeries and also used in medical and non-medical emergency procedures. 

A medical complication known as IV infiltration occurs when a fluid that does not irritate tissue leaks into the surrounding tissue.  IV extravasation occurs when the leaking IV fluid is “vesicant,” meaning that it can cause blistering and other damage to surrounding tissues. 

Although administering an IV is one of the most common tasks that healthcare professionals perform daily, there can sometimes be problems, resulting in IV infiltration or IV extravasation. The result can be extremely painful and lead to dangerous complications. In fact, these mistakes can result in any number of medical problems, including: 

  • Infections 
  • Dead tissue, otherwise known as necrosis
  • Nerve damage
  • Reduced use of affected limbs
  • Amputation
  • Ruptured veins
  • Scarring
  • Skin grafts
  • Blisters, sores, and ulcers
  • Severe swelling 

If severe enough and not treated in a timely manner, any of these complications may lead to permanent injury or death.

What Causes IV Infiltration and Extravasation?

Most IV infiltrations and extravasations occur when medical professionals place them improperly. Sometimes, they are the result of the IV being dislodged, which can happen when the IV is improperly attached. Sometimes, however, patients can cause or contribute to the problem through their own moving about and jostling their catheter and tubing. 

Negligent IV infiltration and IV extravasation are often exacerbated by medical staff who do not properly monitor a patient who is receiving IV therapy. Without proper monitoring, symptoms may remain undetected, potentially causing severe complications or even death. 

Do I Have a Claim for IV Negligence?

Depending upon the specific facts of your case, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim for negligent IV infiltration or extravasation. And, depending upon the extent of your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation. An Orlando medical malpractice lawyer or Ft. Lauderdale medical malpractice attorney can review the facts of your case with you and advise you on the strength of your claim. 

To prevail on a legal claim, you must prove the following:

  • The medical professional owed you a duty of care;
  • The medical professional breached the duty of care;
  • The breach resulted in harm to you;
  • You have compensable damages. 

A plaintiff proves a breach of the duty of care by offering evidence that the medical provider did not meet the level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, would have been provided by similar health care providers.

What Damages Are Available for IV Negligence?  

Medical malpractice victims in Florida may seek two main types of damages: economic (also known as compensatory) and non-economic damages. Economic damages in medical malpractice cases reimburse a plaintiff for actual and tangible losses, such as lost wages and medical expenses. Non-economic damages in Florida medical malpractice cases address such losses as economic distress, and pain and suffering. Often, these are harder to prove than economic damages. As most medical malpractice involves simple negligence, punitive damages are rarely awarded. By working with qualified medical experts, your Orlando medical malpractice lawyer  can help you build a strong case for compensation. 

Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim for Negligent IV Infiltration or IV Extravasation In a Timely Manner

In order to be eligible for financial compensation in Florida, a medical malpractice plaintiff must file his or her case in a timely manner.  Two years is the standard statute of limitations on medical malpractice in Florida, but that may be extended to four years in cases where the injury was not immediately discoverable. In the cases of fraud and concealment, the statute of limitations may be extended further.

Seek Legal Guidance from a Skilled Orlando Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured due to negligent IV infiltration or IV extravasation, you may be entitled to compensation, including economic and non-economic damages. Contact our office today to speak with an Orlando medical malpractice lawyer or Ft. Lauderdale medical malpractice attorney to discuss your legal options.