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What is chemical phlebitis?

What is chemical phlebitis?

Chemical phlebitis is associated with a response of the vein intima to certain chemicals infused into or placed within the vascular system. An inflammatory response can be created by the solution and/or medication and can also be triggered by improper dilution of drugs or inappropriate rates of infusion.

How is chemical phlebitis caused?

Chemical phlebitis can be caused by irritating I.V. drugs or fluids that are too acidic or too alkaline (pH less than 5 or greater than 9), and by hypertonic solutions (osmolality over 500 mOsm/liter).

What are the three types of phlebitis?


  • Mechanical phlebitis. Mechanical phlebitis occurs where the movement of a foreign object (cannula) within a vein causes friction and subsequent venous inflammation (Stokowski et al, 2009) (Fig 1).
  • Chemical phlebitis.
  • Infective phlebitis.

What is the medical definition for phlebitis?

Listen to pronunciation. (fleh-BY-tis) Inflammation (redness, swelling, pain, and heat) of a vein, usually in the legs. Phlebitis may be caused by infection, injury, or irritation.

What are the main causes of phlebitis?

Phlebitis Causes

  • Prolonged inactivity – Staying in bed or sitting for many hours, as in a car or on an airplane, creating stagnant or slow flow of blood from the legs in a dependent position (This pooling of blood in the legs leads to thrombus formation.)
  • Sedentary lifestyle – Not getting any exercise.
  • Obesity.

What is phlebitis and why does it occur?

Phlebitis refers to inflammation of a vein and it can be caused by any insult to the blood vessel wall, impaired venous flow, or coagulation abnormality. Thrombophlebitis refers to the formation of a blood clot associated with phlebitis. Thrombophlebitis can be superficial (skin level) or deep (in deeper veins).

What drugs can cause phlebitis?

Nurses identified Vancomycin and Benzylpenicillin antibiotics with the strongest phlebitic potential. Among other medications and intravenous fluids, Aminophylline, Amiodaronehydrochloride and Potassium chloride 7.4% were identified as potentially causing phlebitis.

What does phlebitis stand for in medical terms?

Phlebitis is the inflammation of a vein. Veins are blood vessels in your body that carry blood from your organs and limbs back to your heart. If a blood clot is causing the inflammation, it’s called thrombophlebitis.

How does phlebitis affect the surface of the skin?

The thrombus in the vein causes pain and irritation and may block blood flow in the veins. Phlebitis can occur in both the surface (superficial) or deep veins. Superficial phlebitis affects veins on the skin surface. The condition is rarely serious and, with proper care, usually resolves rapidly.

What’s the difference between a blood clot and phlebitis?

Phlebitis Overview. Phlebitis (fle-BYE-tis) means inflammation of a vein. Thrombophlebitis is due to one or more blood clots in a vein that cause inflammation. Thrombophlebitis usually occurs in leg veins, but it may occur in an arm.

How is superficial phlebitis treated in the hospital?

Superficial phlebitis affects veins on the skin surface. The condition is rarely serious and usually resolves with local treatment of the inflammation with warm compresses and anti-inflammatory medications. Sometimes superficial phlebitis can be associated with deep vein thrombophlebitis and medical evaluation may be needed.