Extravasation injury (EVI) is an iatrogenic complication of venous cannulation. Usually innocuous but occasionally it engenders sequelae. Its severity is determined by various physicochemical properties of infusate. A 50-year-old patient developed leg EVI from crystalloids infused through a pressurized digital infuser (PDI), likely from cannula tip displacement during positioning for craniotomy. We ignored checking gravity-aided free-fluids flow before switching on PDI. Following surgery, the patient had an edematous leg with bullae and epidermal peelings from severe extravasation and burns, respectively. Doppler revealed patent leg arteries. Therefore, EVI was conservatively managed, with complete recovery. Apparently, increased local tissue pressure from extravasation produced conditions of peripheral circulation sufficiency predisposing the leg to thermal injury from the forced-air warmer. On inspecting PDI postoperatively, its upper-pressure alarm limit was 300 mmHg, which prevented it from sounding alarm during extravasation.Reference:
Bithal PK, Jan R, Kalou MM, Bafaquh MS. Thermal injury from forced-air warmer device precipitated by massive extravasation from peripheral venous cannula. Saudi J Anaesth. 2022 Oct-Dec;16(4):463-465. doi: 10.4103/sja.sja_786_21. Epub 2022 Sep 3. PMID: 36337402; PMCID: PMC9630688.