IV Complications : Nursing Course


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A systemic complication that occurs if the tip of the IV catheter shears off while the IV is being inserted is:

catheter embolism

Rationale: A catheter embolism is a rare occurrence, but can happen if proper insertion techniques are not followed when starting an IV in a patient. The tip of the catheter can shear off and become a free-floating embolism. The chance of this occurring increases if the needle is removed, then re-threaded through the catheter when inserting the IV. A patient will quickly deteriorate if this occurs, with complaints of shortness of breath, followed by unequal breath sounds and respiratory distress. The patient may lose consciousness, and develop a weak pulse. If a catheter embolism occurs, the patient may have to go to the cath lab to have it removed.


Air that enters the vein through IV tubing is:

air embolism

Rationale: Air embolism occurs as a result of a large volume of air entering the patient's vein through the IV administration set. This is a rare complication, but can occur if IV fluids are administered through a bag that is not properly primed, or a large bolus of air is given while administering medication. The IV tubing holds about 13 CC's of air, and a patient can generally tolerate up to 1 CC per kilogram of weight of air. A patient with an air embolism will have symptoms of a pulmonary embolism, such as shortness of breath and respiratory alkalosis. If a patient has a suspected air embolism, the patient should be placed in trendelenburg position on their left side.


During an IV infusion, fluid that leaks from a vein into the surrounding tissue is:

infiltration

Rationale:

If a patient develops an air embolism, the position they should be placed in is:

trendelenburg position, on left side

Rationale:

Inflammation of a blood vessel is:

phlebitis

Rationale:

Inflammation of a vein in which a blood clot is involved is:

thrombophlebitis

Rationale:

Leakage of blood from the vein into surrounding tissue results in a:

hematoma

Rationale:

When blood flow through a vein is obstructed by a local thrombus, it is known as:

thrombosis

Rationale:

When dangerous medications or fluids that are intended for IV use leak from the vein into the surrounding tissue, the result is:

extravasation

Rationale:

When the area surrounding an IV site is reddened, with pain and drainage, the patient may have developed an:

infection

Rationale:

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