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Incidences of Extravasation

Extravasation is defined as the leakage of an injected medicinal solution from a vein into the surrounding tissues beneath the skin.

There are many factors leading to extravasation and they are mainly related to the device (undesirable cannulation site), drug (blister causing), patient (small and fragile veins) and the way the drug is injected. Early signs and symptoms include persistent pain, burning, stinging, and rashes at the injected site. Extravasation may result in skin infection, functional impairment and extended hospitalisation, occasionally also requiring surgical cleansing or skin grafting.

At KTPH, our staffs are vigilant in ensuring that patients do not have extravasations and take necessary precautions in dealing with patients at a high risk of extravasation. From January 2016 to June 2018, the mean extravasation rate was 0.07%, which is lower than international standards (0.44%, Canada, 2012).

Figure: Extravasation Incidence, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, KTPH

Figure: Extravasation Incidence, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, KTPH



1. Clinical guidelines for Extravasation and Infiltration, Berry K. (2017), Great Ormond Street Hospital, UK

2. Study of patients with intravenous contrast extravasation on CT studies, with radiology staff and ward staff cannulations, Kingston, R. J., Young, N., Sindhusake, D.P., and Truong, M. (2012). McMaster University, Canada, Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology, 56(2), 163-167.

3. What are Current Recommendations for Treatment of Drug Extravasation?, Jennifer A. (2015), University of Illinois at Chicago, US