Phlebitis and Infiltration are two examples of complications that might arise during cannulation. Cannulation is the process of inserting a cannula into the body to drain or to inject fluid. However, in a situation where the cannula is not inserted properly, it might lead to complications like embolism, infection, phlebitis, and Infiltration. Most times, it is very difficult to clearly differentiate between phlebitis and Infiltration because both come with similar symptoms. And when you don't know which is which, you are more likely to give the wrong treatment.
Phlebitis simply means the inflammation of the vein, usually in the legs. Phlebitis is of three types; they are; chemical phlebitis, bacterial phlebitis, and mechanical phlebitis. Infiltration, on the other hand, simply means the leakage of intravenous fluid to the surrounding tissues. There may not be any problem if the leakage is in small quantity, but it becomes a problem when it leaks in large quantity.
In cases of emergencies, in other to make sure some certain medications and fluid get into a patient circulatory system without delay, an intravenous channel is required. This is extremely important because it can save the patient’s life. This process involves using a sterilized cannula to be inserted into the targeted vein. When blood oozes out of the cannula, this shows that it is rightly inserted into the vein. However, some complications may result from this if it is not done, which includes phlebitis and Infiltration.
This too can be a bit difficult to discern because both shares the same signs and symbols, and if you are not careful, you might render wrong treatment to the patient. The main difference goes thus: Phlebitis refers to a situation by which there is inflammation in the vein (a condition whereby some parts of the body becomes swollen, red, and painful). It is the most occurring IV therapy complication, and it can occur in any of these ways, either caused by cannula, fluid, or bacteria. On the other hands, Infiltration is the leakage of fluids to the surrounding tissues. It is not usually harmful unless there is a large amount of IV fluid entering the tissue, which can, later on, cause Nerve Compression.