Difference Between Phlebitis and Infiltration

By: | Updated: Jul-24, 2021

The human body is a system made up of various parts. The main function of the human body is to sustain life. It also performs other functions like eliminating waste and regulating the temperature. The human body consists of blood, skin, muscles, bones and internal organs. In addition to these components there are some fluids which act as lubricants for the body. These fluids are known as interstitial fluid.

When the body is affected by injury or illness the interstitial fluid becomes thick and causes swelling. This condition is known as Inflammation. The swelling which occurs in the body due to inflammation is also known as Phlebitis. There are some other diseases which cause inflammation of the blood vessels and tissues like myocardial infarction, nephritis, arteritis and arthritis. The condition of the inflammation is also known as Infiltration.

Phlebitis and Infiltration are two different conditions. But what are the differences between Phlebitis and Infiltration? What happens in the body when the condition of Phlebitis occurs? What happens in the body when the condition of Infiltration occurs? This article will answer all these questions. We will also see what are the causes of Phlebitis and Infiltration, what are the treatment options available for Phlebitis and Infiltration, and what are the preventive measures that can be taken to prevent the two conditions.

Summary Table

Phlebitis Infiltration
A condition that causes the formation of blood clots A condition in which fluid from the bloodstream flows into a body tissue
Located in the deep veins Located in the superficial veins
The symptoms are usually more severe The symptoms are usually less severe
Usually caused by trauma, surgery or blood clots May be caused by cancer or an autoimmune disease

Definitions

Difference Between Phlebitis and Infiltration

What is Phlebitis?

Phlebitis is a condition that causes the formation of blood clots. Blood clots form in the veins and arteries and block the flow of blood to various parts of the body. The blood clots that form in the veins and arteries cause pain, swelling, redness and warmth in the affected area. The swelling of blood can make it difficult for people to move around or perform day-to-day activities.

In other words, Phlebitis happens when the body becomes inflamed due to the formation of blood clots. Phlebitis can occur in any part of the body. The affected area may become red, warm and painful due to inflammation. The veins or arteries that have blocked due to blood clots cannot allow proper flow of blood in and out from the affected area. This results in swelling of the affected area and loss of mobility.

The condition may be caused by different factors such as trauma, blood clotting disorders, injuries and many more. To cure Phlebitis, the affected area must be properly treated and the blood clots removed by various methods such as blood thinners, massage and physiotherapy

What is Infiltration?

Infiltration is a condition in which fluid from the bloodstream flows into a body tissue. It is usually accompanied by pain and swelling. Infiltration can occur in any part of the body, but it usually occurs in areas such as the hands, feet, legs, neck and eyes. The affected area may also become discolored or numb. Infiltration is also known as thrombophlebitis.

Infiltration happens when the blood vessels of the body become damaged due to diseases like:

  • Cancer
  • Anemia
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

To cure Infiltration, doctors use:

  • Painkillers
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Anti-coagulants (to prevent blood clots)
  • Surgical procedures.

Phlebitis Vs. Infiltration

You know that Phlebitis and Infiltration are two different conditions, but they both affect the veins. The symptoms of Phlebitis and Infiltration are also very similar, but there is a slight difference in the type of condition that each condition causes. Now, let’s take a look more at the differences between Phlebitis and Infiltration.

  1. The locations

The main difference between the two conditions is that Phlebitis occurs in the deep veins, while Infiltration occurs in the superficial veins. Phlebitis affects the deep veins in the body. It can occur in the superficial veins too, but it is rare.

  1. The symptoms

The symptoms of Phlebitis and Infiltration are very similar. Both of them cause swelling in the veins and painful swelling in the body. It causes severe pain, cramps, loss of strength and fever too. Phlebitis symptoms are usually more severe than Infiltration symptoms.

  1. The causes

The causes of Phlebitis and Infiltration are different. Phlebitis occurs due to a buildup of fluid in the veins. This fluid is usually caused by trauma, surgery or blood clots. However, the causes of Infiltration are not clear yet. It is possible that it may be caused by cancer, or an autoimmune disease.

  1. The treatment options

The treatment options for Phlebitis and Infiltration are different too. Phlebitis is treated with blood thinners, antibiotics and surgery to remove the blood clots that are causing the condition. On the other hand, Infiltration is treated with medications, surgery and a procedure called Phlebectomy.

  1. The preventive measures

In most cases, the condition of Phlebitis is prevented by avoiding trauma, surgery and certain blood-thinning medications. On the other hand, there are certain ways to prevent Infiltration. These ways include:

  • Avoiding all types of injections in the body.
  • Wearing compression stockings to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
  • Wearing compression stockings to prevent pulmonary embolism (PE).
  • Proper hygiene to prevent infection.
  • Preventing cancer from spreading.
  1. The diagnosis

To diagnose Phlebitis, the doctor will examine the affected area. To diagnose Infiltration, the doctor will examine the affected area and then check other parts of the body to see if there are any signs of blood clots or an infection. In some cases, ultrasound is also used to find out if there are any blood clots in the affected area.

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