Pharmacology IV Therapy #2

Question

Which symptoms are most associated with phlebitis of the vein of an intravenous (IV) site infusing 0.9% normal saline?

Answers

  1. Cool to touch, swelling
    • Rationale:

      This is not the correct answer because phlebitis has the symptoms of warmth, in contrast to coolness. Coolness is most associated with infiltration.

  2. Warm, cord-like vein
    • Rationale:

      This is the correct answer because phlebitis has symptoms including warm, rope- or cord-like vein, swelling, redness, tenderness, and visible red streaking down the affected vein. It occurs related to trauma to the vein. Astute nursing care includes regular assessment of IV sites to help prevent complications associated with IV therapy

  3. Reduced mobility, slough
    • Rationale:

      This is not the correct answer because extravasation is most associated with reduced mobility and slough. Extravasation occurs when a vesicant leaks into the tissue surrounding IV therapy, causing tissue damage, including blisters, slough, and necrosis. It can even result in loss of the limb. Nurses should educate the client to report any pain, swelling, redness, etc. to help avert or reduce complications related to IV therapy, especially when vesicants are being infused.

  4. Painless, blanchable
    • Rationale:

      This is not the correct answer because this indicates a patent IV, without complications. Nurses should educate the client to report any pain, swelling, redness, etc. to help avert or reduce complications related to IV therapy. Furthermore, nurses should perform IV insertion assessments every 2 hours to be sure to help reduce complications associated with IV therapy.

Overview

Phlebitis is a complication of IV therapy. Prevention and early assessment is crucial to reduce further symptoms and tissue damage.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Phlebitis symptoms is a complication of IV therapy that has symptoms including warm, rope- or cord-like vein, swelling, redness, tenderness, and visible red streaking down the affected vein. It occurs related to trauma to the vein. In IV therapy, the catheter can irritate the vein and cause inflammation with the associated symptoms. The nurse’s responsibility during IV therapy is to frequently assess the IV site for these and other symptoms, which could indicate complications associated with IV therapy.

Test Taking Tip

Understanding the pathophysiology of a condition helps make sense of what symptoms would naturally present in a client. Try to not memorize but understand concepts of pathophysiology. It will serve you well as you are answering questions.

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