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Arm turned brown after iron IV infusion. HELP!

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Old 05-08-2010, 05:11 PM   #1
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Arm turned brown after iron IV infusion. HELP!

I'm new to this message board. My daughter, who is 11, had an iron IV infusion on May 6th. She is real anemic and she doesn't absorb iron because of crohn's disease. She took different iron supplements but still no iron increase. So while she was having the infusion, I noticed her arm was swelling. I told the nurse and she didn't think it looked that way. In the meantime, my daughter was complaining about her arm burning and hurting. Well, the nurse said it was probably the iron irritating her vein. This went on for three hours until the nurse did see her arm was swelled. The nurse then adjusted her IV and my daughters arm quit burning and hurting. When we left my daughter showed the nurses how her arm was swelled and they said it looked fine and that she was real brave. The next day when my daughter got up, she showed me her arm. It was and still is all brown. I called her doctor about her arm and he said that the IV wasn't in like the nurse said it was because her arm is brown. The iron was being absorbed in the tissue. He was really mad and said he was going to talk to the nurse who put the IV in. Does anyone know if her arm will stay brown for good or will it eventually fade away? There is very little white left on the arm and everything else is brown like a brown crayon. The doctor doesn't seem to know much and I can't seem to find anything on the internet.


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Old 05-09-2010, 08:10 AM   #2
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Re: Arm turned brown after iron IV infusion. HELP!

that is exactly what i was thinking as i read thru what happened? kind of a 'no brainer" from what you simply described occuring during the infusion? that stupid nurse actually infiltrated the vein(going thru and thru it as opposed to 'into it') or did not even 'hit' it from the front like she was supposed to even and it went to one of the sides? the sick thing is she IS supposed to be able to pick up on this kind of mistake by actually "looking' at what IS and is not actually occuring with the IV itself?? and also, whever you simply 'hit" any vein with any type of IV or even during a plain old blood draw, that plunger is suppoed to be pulled back just a bit to actually 'see"(and let the nurse know)what is called a 'blood flash" that does actually show up right above the needle itself? in a particular area that lets a person doing it KNOW that they have even 'hit' that vein, or it wont send up that flash at all kinda thing? that woman NEEDS some classes, thats for dang sure.

as far as that outter iron goes? i would actually give a call to your local poison control center, just as a simple precaution since THEY just DO have the capability to look the overall effects up and what ANY possible treatment plans should be too? while this may just have to be a wait til it gets absorbed type of thing(and quite honestly, i do think considering where this just is within actual tissue and not 'running thru her system", where it COULD be flushed out, it may actually have to be wait til it gets absoerbed here? just MPO), you just REALLY need to make certain that what ANY actual doc tells you TO do or NOT to do when it comes to anything even like this insane situation just IS the overall 'appropriate" treatment plan. poison control just can find out much much more about any given thing that can 'be" put into our bodies and more importantly what it can and cannot possibly do than any other possible place when it comes to any overdosing of anything, even this crap just being 'IN" her tissues at all?

while chances are that her body, esp if she just is actually running normally low on iron here, will absorb it. you DO need to make certain that this just IS the really 'appropriate" type of "treatment' here, ya know what i mean? you can also find out if there is ANY possible way to speed this up or anything else you can do for HER comfort. i would imagine simply having that much pure iron sitting in the tissues would be somewhet painful,and the overall swelling too? if she is in ANY pain whatsoever, that doc OWES her some good solid pain relief considering the situation.

the really sick part here besides the fact that the nusre who did this was under direct orders from this particular doc for even doing this to your daughter and does not actually even seem to know just 'how' this type of always possible event should even be treated? i just do think considering the whole stupid nightmare situation she casued and your docs inability to even help rectify this, she needs that call to the poison control and a possible visit to the local ER here too? just to see if ANYONE there with some real experience with this over dose of iron into the actual tissues has some form of actual remedy(or consequences for your daughter and HER overall health) no one like your doc actually even is aware of? you just never know til you seek out that help and maybe someone there just would actually know? but DO call poison control. i have had to use this before when my son actually ate my prenatal vitamins(individually wrapped and looked like little easter eggs?) that were just loaded with iron ironically. they were wonderful there and even called the very nexy day to see how he was doing too. i just realistically see this as your very best option right now forthe best most accurate info here.

i really am so sorry your daughter has had to suffer with crohns. i know it is very painful to try and live with. she IS brave. but something sooo incredibly stupid actually occuring like this and allowed to even continue THAT long, in the wrong spot is simply appalling. that nurse should have already KNOWN she did NOT even hit that vein to begin with(no flash, no vein, pretty simple). i do hope things will get back on track here soon for the both of you. just make certain that everything that CAN be done actually is, and that you are fully aware of any possible issues that could come from this too. please DO keep me posted slynne. **
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

Old 05-09-2010, 08:33 AM   #3
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Re: Arm turned brown after iron IV infusion. HELP!

Thanks for replying to my post. Her arm doesn't hurt anymore but it is still very brown like a brown crayon. Her hematologist is calling me tomorrow and also a woman from the hospital to set up an appointment to go over what happenend to her. I will make sure the nurses see what they did to her arm by not listening to her and I. All they did was make it harder for her to get her remicade infusions every 8 weeks. She was just starting to be okay with the IV's and now I don't know how she'll be. I will keep you posted on what happens with my girl and the nurses.

I see you had a failed fusion. My girl also had a failed fusion in L4,L5, and S1. She had her first fusion at age 8 and didn't find out until two years later that it never took. Found out because she was having numbness in legs, back still hurting, and incontinence. So she ended up having another fusion at age 10. It was a front and back fusion with removing her disc and using her own bone from her hip this time and then turning her over and placing more bone plus rods and screws. My girl knows what pain is because she has been in pain since she was diagnosed with arthritis since age 6 in her feet and spine. She does well with everything that comes her way.

Thanks again for the advice. I will call poision center tomorrow.


Old 05-13-2010, 03:18 PM   #4
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Re: Arm turned brown after iron IV infusion. HELP!

Hi Feel Bad,
Just want to let you know, I called poison control and the woman on the phone never heard of this. She said she would call Presby Hospital in Pitts. and talk to a toxicologist about the situation. Well the toxicologist told me to take her to the ER which I did on Mother's Day evening. Dr. at ER never saw this before and really didn't have any idea what to do. The Dr. ended up doing bloodwork to check liver and iron levels. liver levels were a little high and iron was also. They weren't high enough to fix with medicine so she just has to wait it out until the levels go down. He did give her zofran for nausea and vomiting that she had for two days. I then took her to our family doctor the next day and let me tell you he was angry. He said this should have never happened. The nurse should have known when she didn't get a blood return then the needle should have come out. He did say that her brown arm is a permanent tattoo mark. Her brown area measures 12 inches long and is all the way around her arm. On May 20th we go back to children's to see the hematologist and he is going to be very angry at what happened. We also will be meeting with some important people to talk about what happened to her and how the nurse didn't listen to us when we said her arm was swelling and hurting. I keep you posted as to what happens next week.

Thanks for your concern.

Last edited by slynne; 05-13-2010 at 03:27 PM. Reason: wrong word

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