burning at iv site when flushed with ns/hep.

  1. 0
    My pt has a hep-locked peripheral iv and when we flush her line with either ns or heparin, she complained of burning at the site. There's no s/s of infiltration or phlebitis at the site. But there is some old blood that remained inside the tubing. I'm curious as to what is causing the problem.

    Thanks.
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    There might be phlebitis starting. After some time the vein just gets tired of having a line in and it needs to be changed. In my facility they are supposed to be changed every 3 days unless the person is a very hard stick and would be very difficult to restart. We try to keep those going as long as possible.

    Quote from big apple
    My pt has a hep-locked peripheral iv and when we flush her line with either ns or heparin, she complained of burning at the site. There's no s/s of infiltration or phlebitis at the site. But there is some old blood that remained inside the tubing. I'm curious as to what is causing the problem.

    Thanks.
    big apple likes this.
  5. 1
    We were taught (and many patients have confirmed) that you could feel a burning sensation when flushing with NS. But you should also watch for the start of an infection just in case.

    Leslie
    big apple likes this.
  6. 1
    I too have had pts with nice veins, beautiful IVs, and no apparent beginning phlebitis to be found anywhere say that sometimes NS will hurt when flushing the vein. Can mean something, but doesn't always.
    big apple likes this.
  7. 1
    Quote from big apple
    My pt has a hep-locked peripheral iv and when we flush her line with either ns or heparin, she complained of burning at the site. There's no s/s of infiltration or phlebitis at the site. But there is some old blood that remained inside the tubing. I'm curious as to what is causing the problem.

    Thanks.
    This can happen if flushed quickly, try to slowly flush and see if the same occurs. Others are correct, it could be the beginnings of phlebitis or an indication that the site is not as patent as it once was. Look also for warmth at the site, redness and swelling at the site. These all indicate that another site is needed.
    vamedic4
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  8. 1
    Quote from vamedic4
    This can happen if flushed quickly, try to slowly flush and see if the same occurs. Others are correct, it could be the beginnings of phlebitis or an indication that the site is not as patent as it once was. Look also for warmth at the site, redness and swelling at the site. These all indicate that another site is need
    vamedic4
    I would change the site. Flush slowly and see what happens.

    Larry RN in Fla
    big apple likes this.
  9. 1
    I've noticed some patients are more saline sensitive than others. Some won't bat an eye and others hit the ceiling c/o burning.

    Pain and burning at an IV site is a sign it needs changing. If it's a pattern with this patient, then perhaps it's nothing to worry about if there are no other symptoms.
    big apple likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from Tweety
    I've noticed some patients are more saline sensitive than others. Some won't bat an eye and others hit the ceiling c/o burning.

    Pain and burning at an IV site is a sign it needs changing. If it's a pattern with this patient, then perhaps it's nothing to worry about if there are no other symptoms.

    I agree with everything Tweety has said. I will add though that if is just an INT (no maintenance fluids) and there has been nothing through it in a few hours (timeline is different for everyone), it very many times burns on initial flushing with NS. However, it normally stops as you continue to flush - I see this scenario all the time. Just be sure to carefully assess the site and confirm with the patient that the burning has stopped by the end of the flush.
    big apple likes this.
  11. 1
    when I have an infiltrated iv it feels like a burning feeling when it is flushed with saline.
    big apple likes this.


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