Symptoms and Signs of Phlebitis Signs, Symptoms, Causes, Types, Treatment, and Management

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Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Phlebitis Signs, Symptoms, Causes, Types, Treatment, and Management

Phlebitis is the medical term for inflammation of a vein. Veins are the blood vessels that collect blood and return it to the heart for delivery to the lungs. Thrombophlebitis is phlebitis that occurs together with a blood clot (thrombus) inside of a vein. Phlebitis has many causes. Some of the most common causes include trauma or injury, prolonged immobility, insertion of intravenous (IV) catheters, burns, and certain surgical procedures.

Symptoms of phlebitis include pain, redness, swelling, and tenderness at the affected area. If the condition occurs in the leg, it may be difficult to walk. Feeling a cord-like structure along the course of a vein is a possible sign of thrombophlebitis. Other associated symptoms can include fever and drainage of pus. Mild cases of phlebitis may be asymptomatic, meaning that no symptoms are present.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.