Types of Extravasation
When an extravasation occurs, the damage can be severe, causing tissue damage, painful blisters, and/or severe swelling. It can also be mild, resulting in discomfort at the IV site or along the vein, inflammation of the surrounding tissue, and/or redness.
Healthcare professionals classify IV medications as irritants and vesicants. Each hospital develops a list of these “high risk” medications. If you are curious if you are receiving one of these high-risk infusions, ask your care provider.
Extravasation Signs and Symptoms
If a high-risk medication leaks during your IV procedure, you may feel discomfort and see some redness, swelling, or feel itchiness at the IV site. You may also notice blistering, peeling, and darkening of the skin over the site. Be sure to let your doctor or nurse know immediately if you start to feel itching, burning, swelling or stinging around the IV.
Some of the signs of trouble may not be visible until several hours or even days after the leak. Extravasations may not always show these symptoms, depending on how much of the vesicant infiltrates and how the patient responds to the antidote, if one is given.