The first time a site is used, it should observed vigilantly for problems with its introduction. Always examine the site immediately upon starting the infusion. Then observe closely for the initial 15 minutes, for signs of occlusion or infiltration.
Once you are positive the IV is running properly, frequent surveillance is still necessary. Check for phlebitis or signs of infection. With infection you will observe warmth, tenderness and redness. Also watch for signs of occlusion which may exacerbate into phlebitis, infiltration, Extraversion or infection.
Extraversion is caused when using caustic medications and can result in patient injury through blistering or burning. Take infection, warmth and redness seriously, and in addition monitor for fever, chills or elevated WBC’s.
Keeping the IV site healthy makes your job easier.