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Recession Bad for Health Care

Float Nurse Satisfaction Story

Infusion Nursing Article


Tip of the Week– Assessment and Care of IV Lines

Common complications with IV catheter placement include:

  • Infiltration – Leakage of the IV fluid or medication into the surrounding tissues.  If the infiltration is caught early enough and a small amount of infiltrate had leaked, the problem is not usually a cause of long term issues.  Discontinue the IV infusion, remove the catheter and initiate IV access elsewhere.
  • Extravasation – is related to infiltration but is a more serious complication where the fluid or medication leaking into the tissues is a vessicant or highly concentrated solution.  Common medications in this category include Dopamine, Diazapam, Calcium Chloride and D-50.  Even small amounts of extravasation into surrounding tissues can cause localized cellular breakdown and tissue necrosis.
  • Phlebitis – is the inflammation of the vein itself and is most often caused by irritation due to long term IV access in that location (days).  Some medications of a more alkaline or acidic nature can also irritate the vein and rarely a bacterial infection may be the cause, as well.
  • Infection – Infection related to improper cleaning of the site prior to insertion of the catheter or due to migration of bacteria along the cather into the tissues during extended IV access (days).
  • Hypersensitivity to Medication – Allergic reaction to the medication administered.  Can be seen in meds such as IV antibiotics but may happen with any IV fluid or medication.  May be localized to the site or systemic.


IV Complications Web Based Slide Show and Presentation

IV Infiltration Article

Photos of IV Complications

Complications of peripheral I.V. therapy (From Nursing Made Incredibly Easy, Jan/Feb 2008)

Nursing Show Episode 54 on Infusion Nursing Specialty


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Other Podcasts from Jamie Davis:


Song this week:

Matthew Ebel  “Downtown”

Matthew Ebel on iTunes song called DownTown


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2 Responses to IV Complications and Episode 81

  1. Josephine says:

    I appreciate all the infomation you give in your podcasts. I wonder what your credentials are? As the ‘podmedic’ I think medic or EMT, but I think I’ve heard you mention nursing before. Could you present your credentials at the beginning of each episode? Medical specifics, lengths of time, specialty or field of experience. I can’t tell where you are coming from and might better understand you if I knew your experience level. I’d also like to know if you currently work full time or part time and in what setting.

    Perhaps it would have been TMI for the show or length, but I thought it would have been appropriate to mention some to many of the drugs which are high risk to be damaging to the tissues when infusing IV. This would have helped me put my finger on a button there.

    One more thing, I hear you saying vague things like ‘and stuff like that’ and/or similar remarks. As this is an educational show I think that kind of takes away from the educational part of it. Stuff like what? Can you be more specific?

    Again, thanks for your show. I really enjoy listening and look forward to what you might cover next.

  2. podmedic says:


    Thank you for your comments. My primary background was in Emergency Medical Services as an EMT and later a paramedic. In my time there I have most recently served as training officer for my company. I was chief of EMS for the department for a few years prior to going to nursing school.

    I have been an RN for several years and branched out into podcasting for nurses after many of my EMS podcast listeners asked me to create a similar show for those who were branching into nursing as well. My primary love is emergency medical care both in the field and in the E.D.

    I also have a B.A. in broadcast communications and worked for many years when I was younger in the film and video production world which is where I developed my interest in mass media and broadcast journalism.

    I will tighten up on my jargon while passing along information. Thanks for calling me on that.

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