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Phlebitis (cont.)

Phlebitis Symptoms

Superficial phlebitis

  • There is usually a slow onset of a tender red area along the superficial veins on the skin. A long, thin red area may be seen as the inflammation follows the path of the superficial vein. It may spread in a spider like pattern if smaller feeder veins become involved.
  • This area may feel hard, warm, and tender. The skin around the vein may be itchy and swollen.
  • The area may begin to throb or burn.
  • Symptoms may be worse when the leg is lowered, especially when first getting out of bed in the morning.
  • A low-grade fever may occur.
  • Sometimes phlebitis may occur at the site where a peripheral intravenous (IV) line was started. The surrounding area may be sore and tender along the vein.
  • If an infection is present, symptoms may include redness, fever, pain, swelling, or breakdown of the skin.

Deep vein thrombophlebitis

The classic signs and symptoms include redness, warmth, swelling, and pain in the affected extremity. Often one extremity is more swollen than the other. Occasionally the discoloration may be more bluish than red.

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