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Phlebitis (cont.)

Phlebitis Prevention

  • The best way to prevent phlebitis is to be active. Participate in daily exercise such as walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, dance classes, etc.
  • Avoid prolonged periods of sitting or lying down (if possible).
  • Avoid bed rest for prolonged periods. If you are limited to bed rest, wear supportive stockings.
  • When traveling and movement is limited for long periods of time, get up and move around occasionally or stop at a rest stop and move around. Keep hydrated and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Changing of IV lines will help prevent phlebitis.

Phlebitis Prognosis

  • Superficial phlebitis is rarely serious and usually responds to pain control, elevation, and warm compresses.
  • Deep vein thromboembolism is potentially life-threatening if not treated, pulmonary embolism is a potential complication. It is important to find out why the DVT occurred and minimize the risk factors for a future occurrence.
  • DVT can damage the internal structure of the vein leading to the complication of a post-phlebitic leg with chronic leg swelling and pain.

Phlebitis Pictures

Superficial and deep vein systems in the leg.
Superficial and deep vein systems in the leg. Click to view larger image.

Medically reviewed by Robert J. Bryg, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Cardiovascular Disease

REFERENCE: Tintinalli J, etal. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th edition. McGraw-Hill Professional 2010

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/9/2016

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Thrombophelbitis, Septic »

The clinical course and severity of septic thrombophlebitis are quite variable.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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