For decades, nurses have sent drugs surging through a patient’s body using the power of the circulatory system. Catheters deliver medications destined to travel through a person’s veins – but it doesn’t always turn out that way.
Sometimes, leaky veins cause drugs to seep into surrounding tissue or to back out of the insertion site, a problem referred to as an “IV infiltration.” In some cases, these problems involve caustic drugs, such as chemotherapeutics, resulting in an extravasation.
“It’s a drug-delivery issue that we have to be really concerned about,” Gary Warren told Drug Delivery Business News.
Warren is the chief executive of ivWatch, a medical device maker that markets a sensor designed to continuously monitor fluid as it flows into a person’s vein. The company’s FDA-approved device is the size of a pencil eraser, according to Warren, and it uses light to measure the optical density of the tissue surrounding an IV insertion site.