Arm where IV was is swollen almost twice size of other

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Arm where IV was is swollen almost twice size of other

Postby Momof1 » Aug 28, 2011 10:03 am

I had to remove my IV catheter this AM because it was sore and blood was leaking out of the site. When I got it out, there is no redness/heat (other than redness from the tape), but it hurts and feels weird. I then noticed that my forearm is almost twice the size of the other! It is bigger than my upper arm. I have a call in to the home health care nurse, but has anyone ever had this happen?? What is it?!
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Postby littlemommie » Aug 28, 2011 1:11 pm

It sounds like maybe the IV infiltrated. Sometimes the vein will get punctured and the IV fluid starts to leak into the tissue around the vein instead of in the vein. It makes the area puffy for first 24 hours after you take the IV out. It helps if you elevate your arm above your heart and apply warm compresses. I use a heating pad on low. Just dont burn your self.

Another possibility is phlebitis. Just irritation of the vein from the IV. It causes tenderness, maybe a little redness, and some swelling. You treat it the same. You basically want to see that your arm is getting better, bit by bit over the next 24 hours. If it does not get better or it gets worse then you may need to have a doctor take a look at it to make sure you dont have an infection or a clot that needs more agressive treatment. IV had 6 IV's in the past 3 weeks, and have had phlebitis and infiltration that have all gotten better with just time, warm compresses and elevation. I hope you were able to get in touch with your nurse to discuss your symptoms but if not you could try this.
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Postby my2littleboyz » Aug 28, 2011 4:50 pm

I've had 3 iv's in the past month and 2 of them caused tenderness and swelling. The pain would start gradually near the site and over the next day or 2 the pain would extend all the way to my elbow and my arm started to swell. At the hospital they just moved the iv to the other arm and gave me heat compresses. The swelling was gone within 24 but the tenderness lasted for over a week! So when my home iv did the same thing, I took it out and used a heating pad. All the complications of Hg are soooo annoying! Ugh hope it doesn't cause you too much discomfort!
~becca~

Dallas-12/27/04 HG 5-39 wks, several hospitalizations but no diagnosis or treatment

Sawyer-05/06/07 HG 6-39 wks, 2 hospitalizations, pills: zofran, reglan, phenergan...diagnosis of HG but no extra treatment

Boy #3- due 2/8/12 HG starting at 6 wks, 1 hospitalization so far, lots of meds, a home IV and finally a zofran pump and home health nurse...immediate diagnosis and early treatment!
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Postby Shyonelisa » Aug 28, 2011 9:42 pm

Yup, I agree with the others. I was on continuous IV's throughout my 2nd-3rd trimesters, and I usually only made it maybe 1-2 days before the vein would infiltrate. I always knew it was time to pull the site when my hand looked like a puffed up balloon. Having the poor nurse try to locate veins 3-4 times a week was a pain, but dehydration was so much worse :lol: . I suggest you do what the others said and put your arm up (helps the fluid drain out faster) and try not to worry unless it gets worse.
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Flapjack aka DD-Severe HG (2010)

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Postby PallasAthena » Aug 29, 2011 10:30 am

Yep. Sounds like the vein blew (infiltrated). This happened with my midline. My arm got all puffed up and fluid started running out backwards and soaking everything. Gross. My veins were like tissue paper at that point.

(((hugs))) It's the worst when you finally get an IV going and you think you're all good to go and then BOOM! The vein goes and you have to go get stuck again. :cry:
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Postby Momof1 » Aug 29, 2011 12:27 pm

Thanks for the feedback, ladies! I was reading your replies, but cannot respond from my iPhone. You were right - it was infiltrated. My nurse didn't tell me to use heat or elevate. Once I read your replies and tried heat, it did seem to get a lot better!

I am getting sick of IVs and, although I might not have this luxury, I am going to try to not get another one. I have had about 6 or so started in the past 2.5 weeks and they essentially last last than 48 hours lately. I am feeling a little better and trying to force fluids right now to see if I can avoid getting another. Almost 16 oz so far today! (I have typically only been taking 8 oz or so/day orally, so this is a big achievement!)
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Postby Shyonelisa » Aug 29, 2011 3:25 pm

Momof 1-

I don't know how far along you are, but I urge you to rethink things a bit. Believe me, I understand how crappy continuous fluids can be, but I can tell you from experience that 16 oz is not enough. Have they given you ketone sticks to use daily? If your readings aren't consistently negative, you will probably have a relapse, and I don't want you to have to go through that (sometimes relapses are even worse).

Perhaps they can give you a PICC or Midline? They tend to hold up much longer than the peripherals, and you get the added convenience (using that term relatively) of having the backpack vs. that dang pole. I sincerely hope you do manage alright, but at the very least please continue to test your urine. I will be thinking of you, please keep me updated ;)
DD-NVP 2 weeks (1996)
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Flapjack aka DD-Severe HG (2010)

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Postby Momof1 » Aug 29, 2011 5:18 pm

Thanks Shyonelisa! I am almost 12 wks, and my HG symptoms have reduced considerably the last couple of days. I know it could just be a good couple of days (this happened a couple of weeks back) but I am hopeful. I do know that 16 oz/day would not be enough - I was excited that I had drank that much this AM, but want to try to reach 40 oz/day (my nurse said that would be enough to stay off the IV). I am not sure if I will make it today or not, but still working on it.

I do have the ketone sticks and I am getting "trace" readings. I will definitely get the IV redone tomorrow if I am not able to intake a decent amount of fluids. I am only able to do 1L/day anyway on the IV, because of work and childcare. PICC or Midline aren't really options with my work (I mean, I suppose they ARE options, but I am trying to avoid anything too obvious at work). I am just hoping I am at the end of this...
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Postby Momof1 » Aug 30, 2011 10:10 am

And...IV back in. Sigh.
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Postby joy_g » Aug 30, 2011 10:37 am


good luck with this one!

hopefully you're getting good sticks -- with all those IVs, a nurse with a bad stick day would put me right over the top!

it is so nice to have the support, advice, and experience of everyone here, isn't it?

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Postby littlemommie » Aug 30, 2011 10:37 am

Sorry you had to get another IV. I was in a similar situation with IV's. I had 6 over a period of 3 weeks. I had a hard time keeping an IV while working too. At the moment I have been off the IV for 4 days. But Im still taking things a day at a time. Im planning to go back to work on Thursday and am hoping that the activity does not make my nausea worse enough that I will need the IV again. But its not really in my control. Same for you I guess. As long as my nurses can find peripheral veins I intend to stick with peripheral IV's. Good luck hanging in there with all of your responsibilities, hopefully we will both be better soon!
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Postby Shyonelisa » Sep 03, 2011 8:32 pm

I'm sorry you're IV free time didn't last long, but I'm glad you got rehydrated right away. I know how much it sucks, but staying hydrated is the best way to feel somewhat normal.

You stated that you didn't want the IV to interfere with your work, and I was wondering if temporary disability is a possibility for you? FMLA literally saved me during the majority of my pregnancy, but money was super tight. If you can afford to, maybe you could look into this? I'm just trying to offer up some suggestions, but I understand that need for normalcy too (even though HG and normalcy seem like an oxymoron).

GL mama, you are doing the best that you can!
DD-NVP 2 weeks (1996)
DS-Severe HG (2006)
Flapjack aka DD-Severe HG (2010)

One day at a time!
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Re: Arm where IV was is swollen almost twice size of other

Postby rasha » Mar 07, 2016 1:20 am

I have also a call in to the home health care nurse, but has anyone ever had this happen?? What is it?!
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