Radiology IV Contrast Extravasation Patient Instructions
Intravenous (IV) contrast has leaked under your skin at the injection site. This is rarely a serious problem. There are two things you can do to help speed up the recovery.
- Raise your arm above the level of the heart, as much as you can, until the swelling goes down.
- For the first 6 hours, apply light pressure to the swollen area for 1 minute every half hour or until the swelling goes down.
Swelling or redness of the IV site can last for 1 to 2 days. It is common to feel a dull ache at the site.
The contrast will slowly be absorbed back into your circulation. Then your body will get rid of it. Your arm should return to normal within 2 to 3 days.
Call your doctor or the Radiology Department if you notice any of the following.
1. Numbness or tingling of the lower arm or hand.
2. Redness or streaks at the injection site.
3. Blisters at the site.
4. Increased pain that does not get better over time.
5. Unusual coolness of the lower arm or hand beyond the injection site.
6. Any increase in the size of your arm.
Call Radiology, Monday – Friday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm at (608) 263-8300.
After hours, weekends, or holidays, this phone number will connect you to the paging operator. Ask for the Radiology doctor on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/21/2013
Copyright © 05/21/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5439
Print Health Fact For You