When you visit a hospital, you may need to receive fluids or medications through an IV at some point during your stay. While IV therapies can provide multiple benefits to treatment, you may suffer serious injuries if the IV slips out of place. The medication and fluids within the IV could be cause serious complications to tissue or skin.
If a nurse or doctor does not respond to IV infiltration injuries for a period of time, leading to serious complications, the courts can consider this action a form of nurse negligence and medical malpractice. If you suffered these injuries, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit or claim against the responsible medical professionals or the hospital.
Hiring a medical malpractice attorney can help you determine what damages you are eligible for and the amount of those damages. The attorney can also conduct a full-scale investigation into the circumstances of your case and argue your case in settlement negotiations or in court. For the best results in IV infiltration cases, discuss your case with a hospital negligence lawyer.
Symptoms of IV Infiltration Injuries
When your IV infiltrates your skin or tissue, a few common symptoms can signal that an injury is taking place.
- Fluid leaking from the IV injection site
- Swelling at the IV injection site
- Slowed or stopped IV infusion
- Skin that feels cool to the touch
- Moistening of bandages at the IV injection site
- Skin that feels stretched or taut
- Skin that looks white or blanched
Complications From IV Infiltration
IV infiltration injuries range in severity based on what type of medication escapes into the tissue, where the infiltration takes place, and how quickly hospital staff respond to the injury. After an IV infiltration injury, you may suffer from complications that could lead to life-long problems. You may need follow-up surgeries, extended hospital stays, additional treatments, and physical therapy to recover from these injuries.
Common Complications From IV Infiltration Injuries
Infiltration injuries from IVs are more common than patients realize. Some of the most common are also some of the most severe.
- Severe burns that require skin grafting
- Amputation of limbs and extremities affected by the infiltration injury
- Severe scarring and disfigurement wherever the corrosive medication makes contact with the skin
- Skin ulcers and severe blisters
- Impairment or loss of function of an extremity affected by the infiltration injury
- Permanent nerve damage and loss of sensation in the affected area
- Tissue necrosis or tissue death
- Air embolisms
- Compartment syndrome, or painful and dangerous pressure buildup in the muscles
- Spinal cord injury, including paralysis
- Vein ruptures
- Serious infections
- Permanent damage to veins and arteries
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim for IV Infiltration
If you suffered serious injuries from an IV infiltration injury, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the individuals or entities responsible for your injury. You can file a claim against the nurse, hospital, doctor, or anyone else involved in the infiltration injury. You will have to prove the following conditions to have grounds for a lawsuit.
- You and the medical professional had a patient-doctor relationship and the professional owed you a standard of care.
- The medical professional breached that standard of care by placing the IV incorrectly and failing to monitor the signs of infiltration and/or react in a timely manner.
- The breach of care led to your injuries.
You can claim damages for economic and non-economic losses in medical malpractice cases. You can claim losses for medical expenses, lost income, and other tangible costs related to your case. You can also claim pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, and loss of quality of life related to your injuries. For instances of extreme recklessness and neglect, the court can award punitive damages to further discourage the medical professional from performing the same action again.