IV Contrast Extravasation in Radiation Oncology
Intravenous (IV) contrast has leaked under
your skin at the injection site. This is rarely
a serious problem. There are two things you
can do to help decrease your chance of
1. Raise your arm above the level of the
heart, as much as you can, until the
swelling goes down.
2. For the first 6 hours, apply light pressure
to the swollen area for 1 minute every
half hour or until the swelling goes
Swelling or redness of the IV site can last
for 1 to 2 days. It is common to feel a dull
ache at the site.
The contrast will slowly be absorbed back
into your body. Your arm should return to
normal within 2 to 3 days.
Call your doctor in the Radiation
Oncology department if you notice any of
Numbness or tingling in the
affected hand or arm.
Redness or streaks at the
Blisters around the site.
Pain that does not go away.
Coolness of the lower arm or
Any increase in the size of your
The Radiation Oncology clinic is open,
Monday – Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The
phone number is (608) 263-8500.
If it is after hours, a weekend, or a holiday,
your call will be picked up by paging
operator. Ask for the Radiation Oncology
doctor on call. Leave your name and phone
number with the area code. The doctor will
call you back.
If you live outside of the Madison area, call
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©8/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7104.