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Medical Articles

Leon Alexander

With the advent of parenteral, intravenous infusion for various purposes like chemotherapy, parenteral nutrition, radiocontrast intravenous injection for imaging studies, extravasation injuries are emerging as a serious problem with often disastrous complications, if not recognized early. Fortunately, if treated early, the affected extremities can be salvaged and hence the role of plastic surgeons cannot be over-emphasized, especially when it comes to the reconstruction of necrotic and ischemic wounds as a result of these injuries. Proper monitoring and immediate intervention will go a long way in minimizing the morbidity associated with these injuries. However, if there is a delay in recognition and treatment, it can lead to complications like skin necrosis, gangrene, extensive soft tissue defects and contractures. Treatment in these circumstances needs an individualized approach and entails wound debridement followed by skin grafts and flap cover. Documentation and prompt intervention can avoid medicolegal issues for the physician and the hospital. 

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