Intravenous (IV) lines are necessary for many patients to deliver medicine and fluids to them. However, IV infiltration is a complication that can arise through the use of IV lines. If you are harmed due to IV infiltration, you may have a claim against a negligent healthcare provider for medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering, and other damages. 

What Are IV Lines? 

IV lines are attached to the body through a catheter that is inserted into a vein. They deliver fluids and/or medications to patients. A nurse inserts a needle into a vein, usually in the patient’s hand or wrist. IV lines can provide continuous nutrients or medicine to patients, and patients can receive medication more quickly through the use of IV lines.

What Is IV Infiltration?

IV infiltration occurs when fluid in the IV line leaks into the tissues under the skin where the needle was inserted. 

IV infiltration can be caused by many reasons, such as:

  • The tip of the catheter slips out of the vein 
  • The catheter needle pushes through the vein, and medication leaks from it
  • Medication passes the vein wall into the tissue 

While IV infiltration can sometimes be harmless, it can cause serious injuries in others. 

Possible Injuries Caused By IV Infiltration 

IV infiltration can potentially result in painful injuries and complications, such as:


Certain medications can irritate the skin and soft tissue around the catheter site. Burns can occur when there is a chemical reaction that damages or kills cells. 

Nerve Damage 

Some medications can cause nerve damage when they leak from the IV line. This damage is often centralized in the location where the IV line is inserted. This condition cannot always be treated by medicine, so it can possibly cause lifelong symptoms such as loss of dexterity, muscle spasms, and loss of sense of touch. 

Compartment Syndrome

Compartment syndrome is a serious medical complication that occurs when the body’s tissue swells to the point that it squeezes blood vessels. When this happens, the body’s cells can die because they are not receiving the oxygen they need. In dire circumstances, amputation may be necessary. 

What Are the Symptoms of IV Infiltration?

If you experienced IV infiltration, look for the following symptoms that may indicate a problem: 

  • Swelling
  • Pain 
  • Burning near the IV site
  • Tightness at the IV site
  • Discoloration 
  • Cool skin

Your medical care team may also identify that infiltration is occurring because the medication flow can stop or slow. 

Medical Treatment For IV Infiltration 

The first step to treating IV infiltration is removing the catheter. Your medical provider may use hot or cold compresses. They may elevate the affected body part and use anti-inflammatory medication. More extensive medical intervention may be necessary in some circumstances. 

Medical Malpractice Can Cause IV Infiltration  

IV infiltration should not occur. This condition arises because of a situation in which medication comes into contact with a part of the body that it shouldn’t. As such, it is usually due to a healthcare provider’s mistake – a mistake that you shouldn’t have to pay for. 

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider’s care falls below the standard of care another provider would have provided under similar circumstances. 

Some indications that medical malpractice may be involved include:

  • The nurse or other healthcare provider had to insert the catheter into your vein multiple times
  • The nurse or other healthcare provider saw fluid leaking from the IV and failed to take corrective action
  • The medical team failed to monitor you

If you have experienced IV infiltration, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney for help proving your case. 

Contact a Knowledgeable Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorney For Help Proving Your IV Infiltration Claim

If you would like to learn if you have a valid claim for compensation due to IV infiltration, contact a knowledgeable Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer. An experienced attorney can evaluate your situation and explain your legal options.

If you or a close one have suffered from medical malpractice in Atlanta, GA, please call Malone Law at (770) 390-7550 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation today.

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