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Bleeding and Clotting Disorders

Hard lump with pain

04/10/2009

Question:

I read your answer about hard lumps at an IV site after the IV is removed but my question is actually about a hard lump further up my arm from the IV site. The IV was placed in my hand and was only in for a few hours. The next day, as usual, the site was bruised and tender but after two days the pain moved to the back of my wrist and was tender to the touch there. After a week of it in my wrist, the pain and tenderness moved to my forearm and became red and swollen. Now the site in my forearm is hard and the skin over the vein has a "dried-out" appearance. There is no more pain. I worry is that this could be caused by a piece of the catheter breaking off during removal and then getting clotted over. Is it common for the clot to move further up? What do you think?

Answer:

If there was a clot at the IV site, it is possible that it could progress and move upward, but there could be other causes as well that might need to be looked at. It really would be unlikely for a piece of the catheter to break off and give the findings that you describe.

Unfortunately it is really not possible to say much more in a forum such as this. I would encourage you to contact your physician to get their thoughts and see if you need to be evaluated.

For more information:

Go to the Bleeding and Clotting Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Spero R Cataland, MD Spero R Cataland, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University