Complications after unintentional intra-arterial injection of drugs: Risks, outcomes, and management strategies

Surjya Sen, Eduardo Nunes Chini, Michael J. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

87 Scopus citations

Abstract

Unintentional intra-arterial injection of medication, either iatrogenic or self-administered, is a source of considerable morbidity. Normal vascular anatomical proximity, aberrant vasculature, procedurally difficult situations, and medical personnel error all contribute to unintentional cannulation of arteries in an attempt to achieve intravenous access. Delivery of certain medications via arterial access has led to clinically important sequelae, including paresthesias, severe pain, motor dysfunction, compartment syndrome, gangrene, and limb loss. We comprehensively review the current literature, highlighting available information on risk factors, symptoms, pathogenesis, sequelae, and management strategies for unintentional intra-arterial injection. We believe that all physicians and ancillary personnel who administer intravenous therapies should be aware of this serious problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)783-795
Number of pages13
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Volume80
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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