Vesicant Extravasation Part II: Evidence-Based Management and Continuing Controversies

Rita Wickham

Constance Engelking

Carmel Sauerland

Dominick Corbi

ONF 2006, 33(6), 1143-1150. DOI: 10.1188/06/ONF.1143-1150

Purpose/Objectives: To review the literature, synthesize current recommendations, and discuss remaining controversies regarding vesicant extravasation management.

Data Sources: Published evidence-based reports, clinical articles, and anecdotal case reports about antineoplastic and nonantineoplastic vesicant agent management.

Data Synthesis: Prevention of vesicant extravasation sequelae requires knowledge about vesicant extravasation manifestations and differentiation of vesicant extravasation from other local IV site reactions. When evidence is weak or missing, logical application of data-based or empirical management strategies is critical. Actions may include timely administration of subcutaneous or topical antidotes, comfort measures, and surgical interventions to minimize the extent of tissue damage and morbidity should extravasation occur.

Conclusions: Vesicant extravasation and sequelae constitute a complex patient problem. Clinicians should strive to prevent extravasation or seek to minimize injury should it occur. To this end, clinicians must demonstrate awareness of its risks and use specialized knowledge when administering vesicant agents.

Implications for Nursing: Nurses who administer vesicant agents should understand the nursing and collaborative actions that should be taken to minimize patient morbidity, pain, and disability.

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