Quote from ButrflyGurl
Can someone tell me a sure and accurate way to assess for Phlebitis and thrombophlebitis?? I am still in school and when I ask nurses on my clinical floor, it seems their answers differ. It is just so hard to tell if the person's skin is already "loose" or whatnot from their age, weight, condition etc. I monitor if there is pain at the site or redness, but how do I really know what I should be looking for? I am always worried that I may not pick it up and I am running IV's through and putting danger to me patient. Please any input would be extremely appreciated...
I use a little trick taught to me by an RN back when I was going through school and working as a hospital CNA: Whenever I assess an IV site, I'll take my penlight and shine it directly on the skin near the site........if the surrounding area is translucent, chances are the IV has infiltrated. I've caught a lot of problems this way, before the swelling and pain set in. (However, this method is not reliable if the patient is third-spacing, if he's very obese, or if he has a lot of generalized edema.
Identifying phlebitis is much easier......once you've seen the red streak along the vein and/or a palpable cord, you'll recognize it instantly the next time. The best way to deal with these things, however, is to prevent them from occurring in the first place, so you'll want to make sure to assess IVs on all your patients at least twice per shift and deal swiftly with any complaints or irregularities.
Just my 2 cents' worth.
Hope this helps.