Nurse Corner August-September

Jeremiah 30:17—“For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds, says the Lord.”


Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) remains a frequently under-diagnosed condition with serious consequences. DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, such as in the thigh, pelvis, or lower leg, and causes partial or total obstruction of blood flow. This condition can prove fatal if the clot detaches, travels to the lungs and blocks blood flow in the vessels of the lungs.
Predisposing factors for DVT include diabetes, obesity and advanced age; it is most common in adults over age 40, but can occur in any age group. In women, the first 12 weeks after giving birth is a particularly high-risk period. Prolonged periods of inactivity, including hospitalization; smoking; lengthy air or car travel are some common DVT triggers.
Typical symptoms of DVT include acute pain in the calf, swelling, discoloration, and warmth. Your doctor will look to these symptoms for a diagnosis, in conjunction with a physical examination and imaging tests (ultrasound, venography, and MRI).
Many patients can prevent DVT through lifestyle changes such as becoming more active, exercising regularly, avoiding prolonged periods of bed rest, not staying in the same position in bed, and increasing consumption of fluids. During a flight or on a long car ride, getting up and walking frequently, along with flexing and pointing your toes, are common measures we all can take to prevent DVT. Controlling obesity, diabetes, and smoking can also minimize the risk of DVT.
Treatments options include vascular elastic compression stockings, which work well for many patients and are available at most pharmacies. Pneumatic compression boots are beneficial for patients hospitalized or confined to home. For patients undergoing surgery, oral administration of Coumadin is common. Baby aspirin may be administered daily for some patients.
While DVT is a very serious condition that can strike at any age, the important message is that it can be prevented in many people. Awareness and advocacy are the most effective tools to lessen the impact of this condition.

Atul Laddu, MD, PhD, FACC, author, Taken from