1. DEFINITION OF PHLEBITIS:

    Inflammation of the walls of a vein.

  2. What are the signs and symptoms of phlebitis?

    Phlebitis refers to inflammation of a vein and it can be caused by any insult to the blood vessel wall, impaired venous flow, or coagulation abnormality. Pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness are some common symptoms of phlebitis.

    Symptoms of phlebitis

    • redness.
    • swelling.
    • warmth.
    • visible red “streaking” on your arm or leg.
    • tenderness.
    • rope- or cord-like structure that you can feel through the skin.
  3. What causes phlebitis to flare up?

    Thrombophlebitis is due to one or more blood clots in a vein that cause inflammation. Thrombophlebitis usually occurs in leg veins, but it may occur in an arm. The thrombus in the vein causes pain and irritation and may block blood flow in the veins. Phlebitis can occur in both the surface (superficial) or deep veins.

  4. How long does phlebitis last?

    Except for these rare complications, you can expect a full recovery in one to two weeks. Hardening of the vein may take a little longer to heal. Recovery may also take longer if an infection is involved, or if you also have deep vein thrombosis. Superficial thrombophlebitis may recur if you have varicose veins.

    Types of Phlebitis

    • Mechanical phlebitis. Mechanical phlebitis occurs where the movement of a foreign object (cannula) within a vein causes friction and subsequent venous inflammation
    • Chemical phlebitis. Chemical phlebitis is caused by the drug or fluid being infused through the cannula. …
    • Infective phlebitis
    • Mechanical:

    • Too large a catheter for the size of the vein
    • Manipulation of the catheter: improper stabilization
    • Chemical:

    • Vein becomes inflamed by irritating or vessicant solutions or medication
    • Irritation medication or solution
    • Improperly mixed or diluted
    • Too-rapid infusion
    • Presence of particulate matter
    • The more acidic the IV solution the greater the risk
    • Additives: Potassium
    • Type of material
    • Length of dwell:
    • 30% by day 2, 39-40% by day 3 (Macki and Ringer)
    • The slower the rate of infusion the less irritation
      Phlebitis
      Bacterial

      • Poor aseptic technique
      • Failure to detect breaks in the integrity of the equipment
      • Also called Septic phlebitis: least common

      • Poor insertion technique
      • Inadequate stabilization
      • Failure to perform site assessment
      • Aseptic preparation of solutions
      • Hand washing and preparing the skin
  5. What is Postinfusion phlebitis?

    Post Infusion Phlebitis.After a peripheral catheter is removed, phlebitis can develop with the same signs and symptoms as when the catheter was still in the vein – redness, pain, swelling, a palpable cord and purulent drainage.

  6. What is infective phlebitis?

    Septic thrombophlebitis is a condition characterized by venous thrombosis, inflammation, and bacteremia. … Thrombosis and infection within a vein can occur throughout the body and can involve superficial or deep vessels.

  7. What is mechanical phlebitis?

    Mechanical phlebitis is associated with catheter movement that irritates the vein intima. Early-stage mechanical phlebitis stems from mechanical irritation of the venous endothelium. It usually occurs several inches proximal to the insertion site. Signs and symptoms include tenderness, erythema, and edema.

  8. What is Visual infusion phlebitis?

    The Visual Infusion Phlebitis score is an essential tool that facilitates the timely removal of short peripheral intravenous catheters at the earliest signs of infusion phlebitis. … Infusion phlebitis may be mechanical or chemical in nature.

  9. Can phlebitis go away on its own?

    Thrombophlebitis treatment depends on how bad it is. Clots lodged in veins near the surface of the skin often go away on their own in a week or two. But if you do need treatment, your doctor will probably give you something to relieve swelling and pain.

  10. What is the best treatment for phlebitis?

    In general, superficial phlebitis of the upper and lower extremities can be treated by applying warm compresses, elevation of the involved extremity, encouraging ambulation (walking), and oral anti-inflammatory medications (Ibuprofen [Motrin, Advil], Diclofenac [Voltaren, Cataflam])

    • On job training for health care workers regarding PHLEBITIS Score
    • Proper Insertion Technique under aseptic precautions with a Proper use of size of cannula.
    • Proper selection of Vein.
    • Hand washing should be followed before and after the procedure
    • Avoid Usage of Hypertonic solutions , inotropes through cannula.
    • Close monitoring and Assessment of the Iv site frequently
    • Change of Dressing.
    • Proper securement of cannula.
    • Avoid forcible flushing of cannula when resistance is felt.
    • Avoid Manipulation of cannula frequently.
    • Change of cannula when clinically indicated.
    • To practice flushing protocol pre and post administration of drugs.
  11. How Long can we keep the iv cannula in situ?

    Clinically Indicated.

    Images of phlebitis

    Images of phlebitis

    Images of phlebitis

  12. How long does phlebitis last?

    Except for these rare complications, you can expect a full recovery in one to two weeks. Hardening of the vein may take a little longer to heal. Recovery may also take longer if an infection is involved, or if you also have deep vein thrombosis. Superficial thrombophlebitis may recur if you have varicose veins.

By Ms. Bindu
Infection Control Nurse

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