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Swollen vein 1 week after I.V.

robbehrobbeh Registered User regular
edited August 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
So I had an MRI done and they put in contrast and saline. I was on the table for like 45 minutes, and I had an I.V. in vein at the crook of my arm the whole time. When they took it out and I got up, my arm hurt to move and the vein was really swollen. Still hurts after a week, feels like something is getting pinched when I flex my arm. I called up the MRI office and told them whoever did the I.V. fucked up and I don't want to have to pay for their mistake, so I'm going to see a doc in their office tomorrow, but I'm wondering if anyone else has had pain/swelling after and I.V. or something similar and have it heal normal. I'm worried my vein will be permanently swollen and cause me pain working out etc. The only other time something like this happened is when I donated plasma a few years ago, and the process of pumping the blood back into my vein left it all bloated in the same way - I think it was really swollen/noticeable at first then it went down a bit over time, but the vein was still a lot bigger than the other arm. FYI I don't think it's infected - not red or hard or anything it's just swollen. I'm young and in good shape.

robbeh on


  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    I called up the MRI office and told them whoever did the I.V. fucked up and I don't want to have to pay for their mistake

    I would suggest not taking this tone, simply because you are not likely to get as good of service with a bee in your bonnet. A few times after having blood taken I've had swelling, but usually not for more than a few days. The most important thing is not to be negative to your doctor. No one is willingly trying to hurt you, especially in the medical profession. Try to be courteous and your doctors will do their part too.

    If you have insurance, there probably wouldn't be a copay for a follow up visit anyhow. If you don't and there is something wrong from the MRI, stand your ground on payment (again politely).

    Enc on
    Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    going back to see them is the right move, first off

    but it's probably just some blood bruising. Some blood escaped the vein and got trapped under your skin, which is where the pain/swelling come from. It's not dangerous, just sort of ugly/annoying.

    accept your death, and become dangerous
  • HakuninHakunin Registered User regular
    edited August 2012
    Yeah if it's causing you significant pain, then go see the doctor

    I had an I.V back in February ago that resulted in something similar to yours. A hard lump on the vein on my forearm, although mine didn't cause me any significant physical pain. When I asked my doctor about it, I was told it was probably just scar-tissue in the vein (didn't know that was something you could get) and it would go away by itself. And it has, although you can still kinda make out where the lump it used to be.

    Hakunin on
  • Dark Raven XDark Raven X The woods are lovely dark and deepRegistered User regular
    If the IV was fucked up, you'd know pretty much instantly - misplaced, it will literally inflate the skin surrounding the site seconds after the infusion starts. A weird reaction a week later is something no one at the hospital will take seriously if you go in accusing them of doing it wrong.

    Best case scenario; you have phlebitis, it's just swelling and it'll go away soon!
    Medium case scenario; you had an allergic reaction to the contrast material. I dunno how common this is, but it's a standard question on the MRI checklist, so probably fairly common!
    Worst case scenario; blood clot, this'd be serious business, but it's also way less likely than phlebitis. Basically a non-option if you're otherwise healthy.

    And miles to go before I sleep.
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Probably phlebitis or stress injury before it could heal. You should call the place up and ask them what's up.

  • MegaMan001MegaMan001 CRNA Rochester, MNRegistered User regular
    This is pretty normal after a lot of IVs. In particular those large bore varieties used for high volumes of saline and contrast dye (which, in and by itself is very irritating to the vein). It's gonna take a while and it'll go away on its own.

    Rest the arm and don't go back to working out immediately until it's cleared or you're just going to prolong it.
    robbeh wrote:
    I called up the MRI office and told them whoever did the I.V. fucked up and I don't want to have to pay for their mistake

    For what it's worth, this is precisely what you do not do if you feel you've been wronged by a medical provider. Putting your own caregivers on the defensive over a perceived mistake is a surefire way to get your questions and concerns relegated to Patient Affairs and the Legal Department - rather than someone who could really help you. 99% of medical care providers from technicians to physicians genuinely are trying to do their best, but sometimes things to do wrong for patients and the current culture is one of full disclosure and treatment.

    In your case, this wasn't a mistake or an error - it was a side effect of a procedure. A side effect that's irritating, sure, but guaranteed to be covered in the informed consent you signed prior tot he procedure.

    In the future, if you really feel you were harmed by someone above and beyond expected complications then contact the manager or director of that department and explain your concerns clearly, concisely, and without as much vitriol as you did earlier.

    I am in the business of saving lives.
  • robbehrobbeh Registered User regular
    Yeah, I felt a bit angry and worried typing it up, but I didn't cast blame on anyone went I went in and the clinic was pretty good about it. Saw a doc and they basically said "Not sure what's wrong" and to come back if it gets worse or doesn't clear up, but that there's not any lasting damage. Appreciate the responses.

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