IV needle missed the vein, arm swollen and black, need help!?
So i had a trip to the hospital where the incompetent nurse butchered my right arm before settling with a vein on the left arm with the IV needle.
But she still missed the vein, and my arm had swollen and was painful after a lengthy nap.
I realize at that point that a lot of the liquid inside the IV bag had gone inside my arm, not the vein.
It has now been 2 week and my arm still hurts, is still swollen and the bloody mess has settled for a black/purple color. The parts of my forearm that isn't black/purple is yellowish.
Can anyone with experience in medicine tell me if it's normal recovery, or if infection has settled in. Thanks
- formerly_bobLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Black, blue, and purple, and later brown/yellow colors near the margins of an injury that bleeds under the skin are all normal colors of blood as it breaks down - kind of like chromatography as different blood constituents separate. It looks like some of the pokes might have gone all the way through the vein, and maybe continued to bleed for a while. Signs of infection are redness and pain, and it looks like you probably don't have an infection, unless the pain has intensified.
Two weeks seems a little long for something like this to still hurt and also remain swollen. If the pain has become more intense or if you have puffy hands along with the swelling in your arm, then it would be a good idea to see a doctor to examine your arm. Otherwise, it looks like things are slowly healing.
- LauraLv 44 years ago
Sounds like your tech blew your vein, or allowed some blood to escape under the skin when withdrawing the needle. It's an infiltration and it's no big deal. You can apply warm compress to it. Don't expect a blood clot. It will heal up on it's own. In the mean time, just keep an eye on it for any further complications like reddness, swelling. And when you get another blood test, ask for an experienced tech. You'll be ok.
- TweetyBirdLv 71 decade ago
Don't be so quick to call the nurse incompetent. You're not IV certified and so you don't know what IV competence or incompetence is. You may be a "hard stick" for all I know. Infiltration occurs when the opposite vein wall is punctured or when the cannula is dislodged. If you were administered normal saline there will be no problem with infection or permanent tissue damage -- this event would be due to extravasation. The discoloration is bruising, from blood leaking from the punctured vein or veins. The swelling, if it feels firm and if the discoloration is on it, is a hematoma. Just a collection of blood that will eventually be absorbed by your body. Nothing serious.
Veins are living tissue and have sensation. What you're feeling and seeing is normal and will resolve over time. Use ice packs 15 min. on/15 min off to help with the swelling. Elevate the arm and avoid using it as much as possible.Source(s): I'm a nurse.
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- 1 decade ago
That's called an IV infiltration or infiltrate, if you want to look up more information on it. It's happened to me before, but they caught it right away. It's not too uncommon--the nurses are just supposed to keep a close eye on your IV so if it's happening they can stop it right away.
In general, if it's getting infected, you'd notice increasing pain, redness, warmth, and/or streaks up your arm. Is it warm to touch? Also check your temperature. If any of these things start to happen, see your doctor ASAP. That condition would be called thrombophlebitis or cellulitis.
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- Lisa DLv 51 decade ago
yellowish usually means it's almost cleard up.