This information explains how to care for a suspected or actual extravasation.
Extravasation (ex-tra-va-say-shun) is when a medication leaks from a vein into the tissue around it. This can cause skin irritation, blisters, and open wounds.
You are receiving this information because there is a chance that some of the medication you received leaked into your tissue. To reduce any pain and irritation, follow the instructions below.
Caring for the Site
- Apply a ________________compress to the site 4 to 5 times a day for the next 48 hours. Leave the compress on for 20 minutes each time. This will help decrease the swelling and discomfort.
- Raise the affected area on a pillow as often as you can for the next 24 to 48 hours. This will help decrease the swelling and improve the blood supply to the area.
- Shower with a mild soap and gently dry the site. Do not soak it in anything.
- If you received medication, apply it to the site as instructed. Do not apply any other lotions, creams, or ointments to the site unless you are instructed by your doctor.
- Cover the area before you go outside to protect it from sunlight.
- Do not cover the site with clothing that is tight or that irritates the site.
- Do not massage the area.
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If the medication that leaked was chemotherapy, your nurse will call you the day after the suspected or actual extravasation to check on you. They will continue to call you once a week for the next 3 to 6 weeks. Your nurse will let you know if you need to continue caring for your extravasation site.
It is important that we have a phone number at which we can reach you. If you miss the call, please call your nurse back at ____________________.Back to top
Call Your Doctor or Nurse if You Have:
- Changes at the site, such as:
- Increased pain
- Increased redness or skin discoloration
- Increased swelling
- Any broken skin such as blisters or drainage of fluid
- Numbness, tingling, or change in sensation in the hand or arm
- Skin feeling warm or hot to the touch
- Trouble moving the area (e.g., bending your arm)
- A temperature of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher
- Any questions or concerns