Master Superficial Thrombophlebitis with Picmonic for Nursing RN

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Superficial Thrombophlebitis

Super-fish Trombone-flamingo
Picmonic
Superficial thrombophlebitis is characterized as inflammation and thrombosis of superficial veins related to IV catheter irritation. Inflammation causes the affected area to appear red, feel warm, and look swollen. Under the surface of the skin, a palpable cord-like vein may feel hard and tender. Interventions include removal of the IV catheter and elevating the extremity. A warm compress may also be used to help alleviate the swelling. Considerations to help prevent superficial thrombophlebitis include maintaining aseptic technique and rotating injection sites every 72 hours. For information related to deep vein thrombophlebitis, refer to the Picmonic on "Venous Thromboembolism (DVT) Assessment."
9 KEY FACTS
CAUSE/MECHANISM
IV Catheter Irritation
IV Catheter-cat Irritated

Irritation of the IV catheter inserted into arm veins may lead to superficial thrombophlebitis. Causes include prolonged IV insertion or using a catheter that is too large for the vein. Administering an inappropriate IV solution, such as hypertonic parenteral nutrition solution into a peripheral vein, is another cause of superficial thrombophlebitis.

ASSESSMENT
Erythema
Earth-red

The presence of a thrombus activates the inflammatory response. After the inflammation related to superficial thrombophlebitis subsides, the skin along the affected vein may appear hyperpigmented and erythematous.

Cord-like Vein
Cord-like Vine

A cord-like palpable vein is a defining characteristic of superficial thrombophlebitis. Under the surface of the skin, the affected vein feels hard and tender to the touch. A nodular cord is caused by a thrombus within the affected vein. Due to the inflammatory response, the area may appear red and swollen.

Edema
Edamame

The inflammatory response associated with superficial thrombophlebitis causes warmth and edema in the affected area.

INTERVENTIONS
Remove IV Catheter
Remove IV Catheter-cat

If superficial thrombophlebitis is suspected, immediately stop the infusion and remove the IV catheter to prevent further tissue irritation. The patient's IV should be reinserted above the affected area or in the opposite extremity.

Elevate
Elevated Arm

Elevating the affected extremity will promote circulation and help decrease swelling caused by the inflammatory process of superficial thrombophlebitis.

Warm Compress
Warm Compress

In patients with superficial thrombophlebitis, applying a warm compress to the affected site will help increase circulation and decrease discomfort.

CONSIDERATIONS
Rotate Sites Q3 Days
Rotating (3) Tree Day-calendar

Prolonged IV catheter insertion may lead to superficial thrombophlebitis. Rotating the IV insertion site every 3 days (72 hours) may help minimize the risk of developing a thrombus.

Aseptic Technique
Techniques in A-septic-tank

Aseptic technique minimizes the risk of transmitting microorganisms during invasive procedures, such as IV catheter insertion. Maintaining aseptic technique is critical for preventing the development of superficial thrombophlebitis. If the affected site has purulent drainage, cultures may be collected to determine the causative microorganism.

Unlock all 9 facts & definitions with Picmonic Free!

JOIN FREE

Take the Superficial Thrombophlebitis Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

START QUIZ NOW

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Ace Your Nursing (RN) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 870,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Nursing (RN) student study app.

Picmonic for Nursing (RN) covers information that is relevant to your entire Nursing (RN) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer your NCLEX®-RN, Hesi, ATI, TEAS test, Kaplan exams, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Nursing (RN) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.