Blown Vein from IV: What Happens Next

Blog Post
By South Valley Vascular
March 18, 2023

If you ever happen to get a blown vein, you may wonder just what happens next. While it may sound serious, a blown vein from IV is common and typically has little long-term damage. 

A blown vein or a blown-out vein happens when one or both vein walls are inadvertently punctured. With medical treatment, most blown veins heal without complication.

Blown Vein: Signs and Symptoms

A blown vein, or a ruptured vein, is a vein that a needle has damaged. This causes blood to leak from the puncture into the surrounding tissues. Symptoms of a blown vein include discolored skin around the injection site, bruising, swelling, localized pain, and a stinging sensation.

A similar condition to a blown vein is a collapsed vein. A vein collapses when the sides of the vein wall cave in towards each other, blocking blood flow. A blown vein may collapse, but not all collapsed veins are blown out.

If a vein is blown, doctors will typically seek to use a different vein, as well as treat the blown vein. Pain and swelling should subside after a few days.

Treating A Vein Blown: Should You See a Doctor?

Usually, a vein blown heals with no complications, typically within 10 to 12 days. However, certain complications may necessitate further treatment. 

These complications include accumulation of pus, swelling, warmth, or fever at the wound site. Pain, especially severe pain, and difficulty moving the affected limb are also signs to look out for. If the vein has slowed down its healing after several weeks, patients should speak to a doctor as soon as possible. The same goes if the blown-out vein hasn’t healed at all.

Blown veins especially become a concern if patients are using an IV line at home. The patient or their caregiver should monitor for signs of infiltration. Infiltration is when blood and IV fluids move past the vein and into the surrounding tissue.

Signs of infiltration include paler skin around the injection site, or skin that feels tight, stretched, or cooler than usual. Infusion from the bag can slow or stop entirely, especially in cases of gravity infusion. IV fluid leaking from the insertion site is also a sign of infiltration to be alert for.

If a caregiver or patient notices any of these signs, a professional should be contacted as soon as possible. Quicker treatment will lead to less damage and more desirable patient outcomes.

Home Blown Vein Treatment Tips

After a blown vein happens, rest and recovery should be a priority. Here are a few steps to help encourage your blown veins to heal at home:

  1. Rest the affected limb as much as possible. The more chances the limb has to rest, the more chance the vein has to recover uninterrupted.
  2. Avoid any strenuous activity that could further strain the blown vein. This could lead to undoing previous healing that happened or even worsening the rupture.
  3. Apply a cold pack, or ice wrapped in cloth, regularly to help reduce the swelling and any pain. Make sure to replace it regularly as well.
  4. If you take adequate steps to recover, most blown veins should heal on their own. Again, this process usually takes about 10 to 12 days depending on individual factors.

Vascular Care Done Right with South Valley Vascular

Every inserted IV is a potential chance for a blown vein. A trained vascular specialist is ready for that possibility and ready to provide the best treatment if it does. 

South Valley Vascular’s vascular specialists will do everything they can to keep from causing blown veins in the first place. However, in that event, you couldn’t be in more confident or capable hands.