Can my arm be infected?

  1. I was in the ER Jan. 2 for post ob/gyn complications and I had an i.v inserted in my brachial area. I was given a litre of saline and meds were Demerol, Gravol, Torodol. I was sent home with pain meds for 2 days and my problem resolved itself. On the 5 th of Jan I noticed my forearm was sore...really sore. It hurts to straighten out my arm and if I apply pressure, it kills! It seems to be spreading down towards my wrist and the actual site of the i.v looks fine except for a small hard bump around the entrance. Small amounts of swelling but no discolouration. Cool to touch as well.

    I've had a million i.v's and have experienced interstitial i.v's so I know it's not that either. My meds were all given at the furthest port and I don't get irritated with these meds.

    I have a mildly elevated temp but I'll double check later on. What do you think? Is my arm going to fall off? :chuckle

    At one point my needle started to come out so I played with it (held it in place) but it never came all the way out so I don't know about debris. I have no experience with i.vs yet so thank you for your thoughts!
    Last edit by z's playa on Jan 10, '05
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    About z's playa

    Joined: Sep '03; Posts: 2,978; Likes: 78
    Class of 2008 !!!

    23 Comments

  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    Sounds like a phlebitis has developed.........You need to see your doctor or go to your local immediate-care center ASAP for appropriate follow-up, as this is NOT resolving on its own.

    Get going! Best of luck, and please let us know how you're doing.
  4. by   z's playa
    Quote from mjlrn97
    Sounds like a phlebitis has developed.........You need to see your doctor or go to your local immediate-care center ASAP for appropriate follow-up, as this is NOT resolving on its own.

    Get going! Best of luck, and please let us know how you're doing.

    And OUT comes the dictionary :chuckle

    Never heard of it. Thank you for the info.

    Z
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    Sorry........phlebitis is the inflammation of a vein. It's usually caused by some sort of mechanical trauma, e.g. IV infiltration (fluids going into the surrounding tissue rather than the vein itself), caustic drugs (Demerol is one that is just hell on veins) and extravasation (where the IV catheter pokes through the vein and the drug goes into the tissues).

    At any rate, please go have it looked at.
  6. by   z's playa
    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question. I really appreciate it. I guess this type of question isn't too popular

    Anyways..I went to the ER and sat for 6 hours in the satellite unit where finally I was seen by the doc. The pain had spread and stung like hell.

    He said it was superficial phlebitis like you suspected and he started another iv and gave me some Clindamycin and percocet. My arm is swollen now. He also referred me to the ultrasound tomorrow first thing so those people will be calling me. I'll be in class so I guess I'll just call in every hour to check. He tried not to worry me but I'm a little worried anyways. I'll let you know what happens! Hopefully. :chuckle

    Z
  7. by   RainDreamer
    Ouchie! I'm so glad you took mjl's advice and went in. I hope your arm is feeling a little better and it's not worrying you too much so you can get some sleep, let us know how it goes. ((((hugs))))
  8. by   z's playa
    Quote from RainDreamer
    Ouchie! I'm so glad you took mjl's advice and went in. I hope your arm is feeling a little better and it's not worrying you too much so you can get some sleep, let us know how it goes. ((((hugs))))
    Yeah..this is painful. My arm looks pretty insignificant in comparison to the pain I feel. I'm not a baby when it comes to pain either. My vein feels pretty neat though. Since my school is a attached to the hospital where my ultrasound will be today..I think I'll pop over to the school and let everyone palpate my knobby vein. Anything for education :chuckle

    I slept 4 hours raindreamer ..thanks for asking. {{{{hugs right back}}}}

    Mjlrn 97: :angel2: I never would have gone if you didn't tell me to so thanks again.
  9. by   Thunderwolf
    I hope you feel better!
    Glad you got it relooked at, too.
  10. by   VivaLasViejas
    I'm glad you got it checked out, z!! Good for you........sounds like you've got a pretty nasty phlebitis there, but with antibiotics and pain meds you should be OK soon.

    I was worried when you described your symptoms, because I've seen people almost lose a limb over an untreated phlebitis---it's nothing to fool around with. I once got it from a bad blood draw........I was in nursing school at the time, and I let everyone check out the palpable cord (that's where the vein does what yours is doing---it sticks up and feels kind of 'ropy') once the discomfort started going away. Luckily, I'd gotten it checked out when it started bothering me, about 2 days after the blood draw, so I didn't have a lot of pain or swelling.

    And BTW....you're very welcome. I'm glad I was able to help you.
  11. by   bobnurse
    thrombophlebitis?
  12. by   OCCHCanada
    blood clot, can result from trauma etc - that would be why the ultrasound is required.
  13. by   Fun2, RN, BSN
    Quote from bobnurse
    thrombophlebitis?

    In her case it would be "THROB-o-phlebitis" Sorry, not laughing at the fact you are in pain z's playa.

    Hope your arm gets better quickly!!!!!! :kiss
  14. by   z's playa
    Quote from Fun2Care
    In her case it would be "THROB-o-phlebitis" Sorry, not laughing at the fact you are in pain z's playa.

    Hope your arm gets better quickly!!!!!! :kiss

    Hehehe.. :chuckle You hit the nail on the head there Fun2care!

    I'm sure I'll be fine.

    Thanks guys!!!!!

    I went to class after ultrasound and I swear....a line up formed to palpate my vein. Kinda funny mental picture. A bit painful though...I had to stop. God help me if I came in with colostomy.

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