Phlebitis: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Classification and external resources

The popliteal vein.
ICD-10 I80.
ICD-9 451
DiseasesDB 13043
eMedicine emerg/581 emerg/582 med/3201
MeSH D010689

Phlebitis is an inflammation of a vein, usually in the legs.

When phlebitis is associated with the formation of blood clots (thrombosis), usually in the deep veins of the legs, the condition is called thrombophlebitis. These clots can travel to the lungs, causing pulmonary embolisms which can be fatal.



Vasculitis: (e.g. Lupus)

  • Bacterial: Pathogenic organisms can gain access and stimulate inflammation.
  • Chemical: caused by irritating or vesicant solutions.
  • Mechanical: physical trauma from the skin puncture and movement of the cannula into the vein during insertion; any subsequent manipulation and movement of the cannula; clotting; or excessively large cannula.
  • Medications including Celebrex, Olanzepine, antidepressants, and others.
  • Genetic as it is known to run in families.
  • Alcohol abuse

Signs and symptoms

  • Redness (erythema) and warmth with a temperature elevation of a degree or more above the baseline
  • Pain or burning along the length of the vein
  • Swelling (edema)
  • Vein being hard, and cordlike
  • If occurring due to an intravenous infusion line, then slowed infusion rate


  • This condition is considered a contraindication, therefore no massage should be conducted as the nature of massage manipulations risks breaking loose a clot which could then travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism), heart or the brain.

Notable cases

See also


  1. ^

Intravenous Infusion Therapy for Nurses (Second Edition) by Dianne L. Josephson (ISBN 1-4018-0935-9)

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

Medical warning!
This article is from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica. Medical science has made many leaps forward since it has been written. This is not a site for medical advice, when you need information on a medical condition, consult a professional instead.

PHLEBITIS (from Gr. a vein), inflammation of a vein. When a vein is inflamed the blood in it is apt to form a clot, or thrombus, which, if loosened and displaced from its original position, may be carried as an embolus towards the heart and there be arrested; or it may pass through the cavities of the heart into the lungs, there to lodge and to give rise to alarming symptoms. If the thrombus is formed in the inflamed vein of a pile it may pass as an embolus (see HAEMORRHOIDS) into the liver. If an embolus is carried through the left side of the heart it may enter the large vessels at the root of the neck and reach the brain, giving rise to serious cerebral disturbance or to a fatal paralysis. The thrombus may be formed in gout and rheumatism, or in consequence of stagnation of the bloodcurrent due to slowing of the circulation in various wasting diseases. When a thrombus forms, absolute rest in the recumbent posture is to be strictly enjoined; the great danger is the displacement of the clot. An inflamed and clotted vein, if near the surface, causes an elongated, dusky elevation beneath the skin, where the vein may be felt as a hard cord, the size, perhaps, of a cedar pencil, or a pen-holder. Its course is marked by great tenderness, and the tissue which was drained by the branches of that vein are livid from congestion, and perhaps boggy and pitting with oedema. If, as often happens, the inflamed vein is one of those running conspicuously upwards from the foot - a saphenous vein (vad)is, distinct) - the patient should be placed in bed with the limb secured on a splint in order to protect it from any rough movement. Should the clot become detached, it might give rise to sudden and alarming faintness possibly even to a fatal syncope. Thus, there is always grave risk with an inflamed and clotted vein, and modern surgery shows that the safest course is, when practicable, to place a ligature on the vein upon the heart-side of the clotted piece and to remove the latter by dissection. When, as sometimes happens, the clot is invaded by septic organisms it is particularly liable to become disintegrated, and if parts of it are carried to various regions of the body they may there give rise to the formation of secondary abscesses. In the ordinary treatment of phlebitis, in addition to the insistence on perfect rest and quiet, fomentations may be applied locally, the limb being kept raised. Massage must not be employed so long as there is any risk of a clot being detached. (E. O.*)

<< Phips

Phlegon >>

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address