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Extravasation injury definition

An extravasation injury is defined as injury caused to body tissue due to a blistering solution that did not follow the intended intravenous pathway (the vain).

There is huge variation in the injury caused by this from a skin reaction to the damage of nerves, tendons and joints. The damage caused by extravasation can continue months after the incident has taken place.


What is extravasation?

Extravasation is when your body is receiving chemicals of medicine through a intravenous method and the chemicals get into the surrounding tissue. Unfortunately when this happens severe tissue injury is caused which can be skin, tendons or muscle tissue.

When extravasation takes places the range of injury caused varies, some will only experience a skin reaction where as other will experience infections, pain and loss of function which could result in only one solution which is amputation.

A problem similar to extravasation is infiltration, the difference between the two is that the chemical which causes extravasation will be blistering where as the chemical that cause infiltration will not and is there for not as serious as it is very rare to cause severe long lasting damage to the body.


When there is risk of extravasation taking place the patient will be seen by a plastic surgeon who will perform a number of different methods depending on the progress of the extravasation. The first stage that will be taken if the problem is not yet severe will be the monitoring of the extravasation.


Unfortunately at this time little research has been done to find solutions of preventatives to this issue mainly due to ethical consideration when testing. This means that all research is controlled and there for any evidence related to the matter that has been collected has been based on small trials or case reports of people who have previously experienced extravasation.