Frischman & Rizza

Fighting Against IV Infusion Malpractice

Intravenous (IV) infusion is one of healthcare’s most common and essential procedures. The ability to administer fluids, medication, nutrients, or other vital substances directly into the bloodstream has saved countless lives and improved the quality of life for countless more.

Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. When a caregiver is negligent or incompetent, IV therapy can have disastrous consequences. Many instances of IV infusion malpractice have been reported in recent years—many elderly patients, especially, losing their lives as a result of these careless mistakes.

That’s why it’s important to know your rights if an IV infusion error has harmed you or a loved one.

Read on to learn about the prevalence of IV infusion mistakes and what you can do to fight against them:

What Is Intravenous Infusion Malpractice?

There are many ways this type of malpractice can occur, and it is vital to be aware of the signs to protect yourself or your loved ones. Symptoms that an injury may have arisen from an IV injection include:

Intense pain during administration

Extreme swelling at the site of injection

Discoloration at the site of injection

Fever following the procedure

Excessive bleeding following administration or localized infections.

Additionally, IV infusion can lead to serious complications like extravasation if air bubbles enter the IV line. There are three options to prevent this from happening.

Using oxygen tubing, which will bubble out air

Using hydrophilic-coated catheters, which create a non-adhesive barrier between the catheter and skin.

Adding heparin to intravenous fluids will break down blood clots.

What Is IV Extravasation?

Extravasation occurs when there’s leakage of intravenous (IV) fluids or medications from the vein into the surrounding tissue. When this happens, it can cause pain, swelling, and severe tissue damage. In extreme cases, it can lead to tissue necrosis (death), which can be painful and may require surgery to repair.

Extravasation injuries are serious medical emergencies. Patients must receive immediate medical attention if they experience any symptoms of extravasation injury, including:

Pain at IV site

Swelling at the insertion site

Bruising at the injection site

Skin discoloration

The affected limb should be elevated as much as possible and any spilled drug and surrounding fluid cleaned off. The patient should also remove any tight clothing and jewelry near the injection site to prevent more swelling. Call the medical team immediately for further treatment if these steps do not work to reduce the discomfort.

Management of Extravasation

If there is a fear of extravasation, the patient should be monitored closely. It is important to document the date and time of each suspected or confirmed event.

For cancer patients that are undergoing chemotherapy treatment, this can have detrimental effects on their health. They use cytotoxic drugs to attack cancer cells. These drugs may be administered through several routes, including intravenously. Chemotherapy extravasation may occur when a needle punctures the vein and the drug leaks into the tissue.

When Can I File Against Intravenous IV Infusion Malpractice?

You may be able to file a lawsuit if you or a loved one has suffered serious harm because of an error made during an intravenous (IV) infusion. To have a case, you must show that the healthcare provider was negligent in their care. It means they did not meet the accepted standard of care when performing the IV infusion.

You will also need to show that this negligence led to your injuries. For example, if you had a blood clot that could have been prevented with better care and monitoring, you may have grounds for an IV infusion malpractice lawsuit.

For those unsure about how to proceed with filing a suit due to complex legal language, there are legal experts available who can help walk through the process of what steps need to be taken next.

Need for Experts’ Help

If an IV infusion error has harmed you or a loved one, you may feel scared, alone, and uncertain of what to do next. The good news is that you don’t have to go through this process alone. Some experienced legal professionals can help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve when fighting for your rights.

When a hospital error injures you and you don’t have insurance, you will likely need to cover medical expenses on your own. As these costs can inflate quite quickly, it’s important to consider how you can get help fighting for compensation so that your financial worries are lessened. It also helps relieve some of the pressure and allows you to focus on recovering without being overwhelmed with bills.

You should also know that, as a plaintiff, you’re entitled to full damages. These could include things like:

Physical pain and suffering

Mental anguish

Loss of enjoyment of life

Loss of earning capacity

Disability caused by injury-related disability

Scarring due to surgery-related scarring and impairment caused by medication-related impairment.

Contact the dedicated lawyers at Pittsburgh medical malpractice today for assistance in seeking justice.

Know Your Rights as a Patient

The first step in protecting yourself against medical malpractice is to familiarize yourself with your rights as a patient under the care of healthcare professionals.

Per the law, a patient consents to participate in medical treatment after being fully informed about what that treatment entails. For example, a surgeon tells the patient about their condition before surgery and explains what will happen during surgery, including risk factors and benefits.

The decision to go ahead with the operation is made by the patient, who should then be asked if they consent again before going into surgery.


Hospitals and other healthcare providers responsible for administering IVs need to make sure that their staff follow all safety measures and monitor their performance regularly to ensure that they do not cut corners or take shortcuts.

However, there are some cases where these healthcare professionals do not follow protocols and standards. The end result is that patients suffer from infection or injury due to negligence on their part.

Our team of attorneys can help you investigate your claim, gather evidence, and file the necessary paperwork. We can also negotiate with insurance companies and represent you in court if required.

Call us today at (412) 291-937 to speak to one of our medical malpractice attorneys.

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