The subcutaneous diffusion of intravenous drips, or extravasation, is a frequent iatrogenic complication in children, mainly in the neonatal period. This potentially severe pathology can lead to local ischemia that sometimes mimics compartment syndrome” Pasquesoone et al (2016).
The subcutaneous diffusion of intravenous drips, or extravasation, is a frequent iatrogenic complication in children, mainly in the neonatal period. This potentially severe pathology can lead to local ischemia that sometimes mimics compartment syndrome. It can also evolve towards vast soft-tissue necrosis. Nursing staff often underestimate the risk of functional, aesthetic, and psychological consequences. The speed and quality of the initial medical and surgical management can greatly decrease morbidity associated with extravasation.
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Prevention is fundamental, such as raising awareness in and training medical and paramedical staffs and creating efficient protocols. Surgical management involving aspiration and washing the site as early as possible improves the prognosis. Aspiration and washing can be done on a larger area if one criteria of severity is met, particularly in cases of extravasation using a vesicant or hyperosmolar agent. If necrotic lesions appear, it is wise to wait until they become delimited. Debridement and coverage can be performed using classical methods.
Pasquesoone, L., Aljudaibi, N., Ellart, J., Guerreschi, P. and Duquennoy-Martinot, V. (2016) Emergency management of extravasation in children. Annales de Chirurgie Plastique et Esthétique. 61(5), p.598-604. [Article in French].
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