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Painful hard lump on IV site on arm, spreading, done CT scan. Cause for concern?

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Practicing since : 2001
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I had an iv on Friday morning at the hospital for XXXXXXX for a CT scan. I just noticed last night a hard lump on my arm at the iv site. This morning it has spread to above the sight as well. It is painful to the touch, but not otherwise. Should I be concerned?
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 56 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

From your description, it seems that you have developed Superficial Thrombophlebitis as a result of the I.V. line inserted.

It is inflammation of the superficial veins of the arm.

For relief of your symptoms, you can follow some simple measures like-
* Apply moist heat to reduce inflammation and pain
* Keep pressure off of the area to reduce pain and decrease the risk of further damage.
* Raise the affected area to reduce swelling.

You can have mild pain killers like Acetaminophen for pain and inflammation. Applying Thrombophob ointment locally will also help to reduce the swelling.

If you develop fever, intense pain or the swelling spreads further proximally then it indicates infection and spreading of the venous clot in that case you need to consult your physician immediately.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. I will be available for your further follow up queries if any.


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Follow-up: Painful hard lump on IV site on arm, spreading, done CT scan. Cause for concern? 4 hours later
Since I asked my first question, the swollen area has grown larger and I've noticed a much smaller lump a little below the big one. But, the big lump doesn't seem to have increased in size. Again, only painful when touched. Is there any need for further concern?
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 49 minutes later
Thanks for writing again.
It seems that there is a slight extension of the inflammation. Please do a hot fomentation and apply thrombophob gel available over the counter at all the pharmacies. If it subsides by tomorrow, then you need not worry otherwise consulting your physician will be helpful.
Wishing you an early recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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