The nurse is caring for a patient with an infiltrated I.V. from normal saline. After the nurse removes the I.V., she expects the physician to order the application of:


•When applied to the infiltrated area, warm compresses increase circulation, and absorption of fluid. To prevent injury to the skin, the warm compress should be removed after 20 minutes for a period of 15 minutes.

•Warm compresses have traditionally been used, as it increases circulation and vasodilation which will help reabsorb the excess fluid.  New research has shown mixed results.  Some sources say that warm compresses should be used if the solution is isotonic with a normal pH or if the fluid infiltrated over a long period.  Whereas cold compresses should be used if the infiltration is recent or if the solution is hypertonic.

•Lidocaine is not indicated for I.V. infiltration.

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