This involves a small clot and/or inflammation of the superficial vein causing irritation.  It is not life threatening.  These clots do not break off affecting other parts of the body such as the lungs.

What causes Thrombophlebitis?

  • Injury to the vein
  • Irritation of the vein from long term intravenous use or intravenous medication
  • Pregnancy

Signs and Symptoms

  • Increased temperature to affected vein
  • Redness around the affected vein
  • Pain over the vein
  • Firm tender cord along the affected vein


  • Application of warm, moist heat.  This is to reduce the inflammation and may be applied continuously, or every four to six hours for thirty minutes at a time until the symptoms have resolved.
  • Elevate the affected extremity
  • A non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory may be prescribed to relieve the symptoms
  • Antibiotics may be ordered but are generally not necessary
  • Support stockings or ace wrap to relieve the symptoms

Please note that the symptoms of thrombophlebitis/phlebitis generally resolve quickly and without complications.

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