Once the lymph system is injured, a variety of insults may exacerbate or lead to complications such as infection, swelling, skin breakdown, and compartment syndrome. For this reason, persons with lymphedema should generally minimize trauma such as the application of tourniquets or blunt force trauma and in the affected limb, intravenous access, needle sticks, intramuscular or subcutaneous injections and/or PICC lines should not be attempted.   Such interventions may trigger a cascade of injury resulting in infection , tissue breakdown, increased swelling and edema which can lead to compartment syndrome and/or auto-necrosis, and in extreme cases cause the need for amputation and can even cause death.


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