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IV infilitrate- ugghh


Has 2 years experience.

Babies have tine veins. Somehow there was a IV infiltrate. The baby is doing well. No after effect.

What is next step? How do I move on and learn from this? I feel so bad.

It is not like adults- who can tell you when IV is infiltrated.


Anyone else going thru what I went thru.

How often are you checking the IV site? In our facility we are required to assess the IV site every one hour to monitor for IV related complications ... Such as an infiltrate.

NicuGal, MSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU. Has 30 years experience.

It happens unfortunately. If you checked the site like you were supposed to then there really isn't much else. Infiltrates can be sneaky, you can look at the site and it looks good and the next hour it has an ugly spot on it. Most things we are infusing are pretty harsh and can cause a burn pretty quickly. And big fat babies with fat rolls are the worst!

Oh dear. What type of fluids were running through? You do need to regularly cgeck the area at least hourly but also check for position of babys arm, leg, wrist to see if they are putting pressure on the site. On our IV pumps you can now read what the pressure is going through the pumps to get an idea as to whether your baby is getting closer to having an infiltrate.

Most infiltrate will go down at some point once the fluid is absorbed. Warm or cold compresses help. Be aware that some fluids and additives especially calcium can be pretty dangerous and cause burns.

If it was just normal fluid it should be ok. It can happen quickly. Its happened to me. One minute fine the next swollen. You have to watch these cannulas like a hawk.

Dont beat yourself up. It can happen and does happen.

babyNP., APRN

Specializes in NICU. Has 13 years experience.

It can infiltrate even within one hour of you checking it, which is horrendous, but happens. This is something that you'll pick up on over time, getting a feel for IVs that you need to check on more frequently (the way the IV looks at your hourly checks, being on TPN which has a potential for greater harm if infiltrated, etc). Most people keep the extremity being used out of the swaddle so that they always have access to view it without waking up the baby. Pro-tip- keep a small blanket over the extremity though so that their exposed arm/leg doesn't get cold, clamp down the vein, and make it "go bad" quicker. That way you can keep a close eye on it without waking the baby, but not have a cold body part.