What Is IV Infiltration?


Quick Answer

Intravenous, or IV, infiltration is the leaking of IV fluid into surrounding tissue, according to Tangent Medical. The needle continues to deliver fluids even though the catheter is no longer in the vessel.

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Full Answer

IV infiltration occurs when a nurse inserts the IV catheter improperly or the patient dislodges it, explains Lippincott NursingCenter. It can also occur when the tip of the needle is near a flexion area and the patient’s movement causes the needle to slip out or press through the lumen of the vessel.

Some signs of intravenous infiltration is discomfort, burning, coolness, blanching and tightness, states Lippincott NursingCenter. If infiltration occurs, the nurse must stop the infusion immediately, remove the catheter, elevate the limb and check the patient’s pulse. The nurse may need to administer an antidote to counteract the fluid.

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