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IV Infiltration: Is it Medical Malpractice?

If you suffered an infiltrated IV during your hospital stay, you may have a valid medical malpractice case. But, what is IV infiltration and how does it qualify as medical malpractice?

The medical malpractice lawyer at the Villari Firm fights for you if you suffered IV infiltration during a hospital stay. Call us today at (215) 600-1363 for your free consultation.

What is IV Infiltration?

For many, the fear of needles is as great or sometimes even greater than the actual medical procedure the patient undergoes. Intravenous Therapy, commonly referred to as an “IV”,  is used as a standard part of many medical procedures. A hypodermic needle sometimes referred to as a catheter or cannula, is inserted into a vein. The needle remains inside the patient to allow for fluid and medications to be administered directly into the patient’s bloodstream. However, serious and life-threatening harm can occur when an IV fails, and the fluids release into the patient’s tissues.

An IV infiltration occurs when the needle does not remain in the vein. Common reasons for infiltration can include:

  • Incorrect insertion of the needle
  • Movement of the needle during the treatment of the patient
  • Incorrect pressure of administered fluids
  • Failure of the vein

As a result, the fluids and medications release into the surrounding tissues instead of remaining in the bloodstream. The term for if the fluids are a direct irritant to tissues is “extravasation.”

Medical Negligence & IV Infiltration

Medical professionals have specific and detailed training in IV insertion, monitoring IVs, recognizing the signs and symptoms of IV infiltration, and the necessity to treat infiltration/extravasation quickly. Most facilities have multiple policies and procedures that medical professionals must follow as part of the standard of care. If a medical professional does not follow that standard of care and harm results to the patient, it may be medical malpractice.

An IV infiltration (or extravasation) can cause excess fluid to build up around the IV insertion area. This buildup can cause damage to the nerves, arteries, and muscles. Burns to the tissues, scarring, severe pain, permanent damage, or even amputation or death can also result.

Knowing if You Have a Medical Malpractice Case for Your IV Infiltration

An IV infiltration can be a severe condition and requires prompt diagnosis and proper treatment. Unchecked and untreated, the result can be catastrophic. If a medical professional or institution failed to prevent, diagnose, or treat the IV infiltration and harm resulted to the patient, it may be medical malpractice.

In determining whether medical malpractice exists in your case, our team will analyze the following:

  • Was there a failure to adhere to the standard of care? Healthcare providers must meet specific standards of care when treating a patient. If a healthcare provider or facility failed to meet the applicable standard of care, you might have a medical malpractice claim.
  • Did harm result, and what were the damages?  Evidence must include the harm suffered as a result of the failure to meet the standard of care.
  • Certificate of Merit: Our team works with experts in the state of Pennsylvania to obtain a signed certificate that supports the validity of your claim.

Filing an IV Infiltration Lawsuit

Speaking with an experienced medical malpractice attorney can be the best first step to filing an IV Infiltration lawsuit. While each case is specific to its unique set of facts, the following are steps that are generally followed before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit:

  • Notifying the medical professional who caused the harm
  • Speaking with the medical board
  • Gathering your evidence such as medical records and bills
  • Ensuring you are within the statute of limitations to file (generally two years)
  • Obtaining a “certificate of merit” to show the validity of your claim

How a Medical Malpractice Attorney Helps

An experienced medical malpractice attorney can be the best investment you make in your case. They will listen to you as you explain the facts of your case and the life-altering events you have experienced. By analyzing the facts and consulting with our respected experts, your medical malpractice attorney will work with you to develop the best possible strategy for your case. At every stage of the process, communications will be clear and transparent. At the Villari Firm, our passion is to fight for you and the justice you deserve.

Summary of IV Infiltration

If you or your loved one’s IV infiltrated and suffered harm as a result, you may have a medical malpractice claim. If you think you suffered an infiltrated IV due to medical negligence, contact the Villari Firm directly at (215) 600-1363 or online by clicking here. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to review your case. While a malpractice action resulting from an IV Infiltration can be a complex and fact-specific matter, with decades of experience and dedication to medical malpractice law, we fight for our client’s rights to get them the justice they deserve.

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