I had a question from one of our Clinical Educators:
Are cool/cold packs still the standard of treatment for infiltrations;
and warm packs for phlebitis?
Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI
Lynn Hadaway Associates, Inc.
126 Main Street, PO Box 10
Milner, GA 30257
Office Phone 770-358-7861
For minor infiltrations, no treatment may be required.
For major infiltrations, treatment depends on the osmolarity of the infiltrated drug. For hyperosmolar solutions, heat makes the situation worse. So cold is preferred.
For isotonic or hypotonic solutions, use heat or cold depending upon what makes the patient feel better.
For extravasation, again go by the tonicity of the solution, with 2 exceptions. Vince alkaloids and epipodophylotixins require heat and all others will usually receive cold.
Phlebitis is heat application. Lynn