Explaining The Risk Factors, Symptoms, Complications, And Treatment Of Blood Clots Helps Your Patient Understand Deep Vein Thrombosis
At Pegasus Home Care, we recognize the individuality of our nurses, team members, and clients. We know that each person has something unique to offer. Including diversity, equity, and inclusivity in all that we do strengthens our organization.
Pegasus in-home nurses in Shadow Hills and elsewhere tailor their services to meet the needs of each patient. They provide all levels of care. That includes career home health care nurses who help their patients understand deep vein thrombosis.
Deep Vein Thrombosis Is Blood Clots Blocking Veins
Depending on your patient’s comprehension of their diagnosis, you may have to start with basic explanations. Many do not understand their physician’s explanations. Or they don’t understand the seriousness of the condition.
As the name implies, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is blood clots in veins. It does not affect the arteries. Clots in the superficial veins are called phlebitis or superficial venous thrombosis and are usually less dangerous than DVT.
Deep veins are those located within the muscles. Although DVT can affect any vein, the clots are usually in the calf, pelvis, or thigh. Most cases result from a damaged vein or impaired blood flow within the vein.
Deep Vein Thrombosis Risk Factors
DVT can occur in individuals of every age, but your senior patients are at increased risk. Surgery is one of the ways in which veins are damaged. The elderly often undergo surgery such as hip or knee replacement procedures.
Many of the causes are related to aging, including varicose veins. Other risk factors include:
- Excess weight
- Family history of DVT
- Prior DVT
Birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, and pregnancy are risk factors for your younger patients.
Sedentary individuals are at increased risk for deep vein thrombosis. The physical therapist on your Pegasus team can design exercises for bedridden patients. Therapists can also assist with safe movement for individuals with health conditions that may temporarily restrict their activity.
Deep Vein Thrombosis Symptoms And Complications
Although some individuals don’t have noticeable symptoms, others may have:
- A sensation of warmth
- Changes in skin color
- Pain and cramping that usually starts in the calf
- Swelling or tenderness in the affected area
Some of your patients may dismiss these symptoms. As their in-home nurse, your questions and exam will reveal potential DVT and ensure treatment.
Prompt treatment of DVT is essential. DVT can be life-threatening if pieces of the clot break off. The bloodstream can carry the clot or fragments to the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism (PE).
Although a blood clot in an artery (arterial thrombosis) causes most PEs, DVT clots are equally serious. If the clot is small, your patient may recover without complications. Some individuals may have lung damage from small clots, and large clots can be fatal.
Some patients experience damage to their veins from blood clots. They may develop chronic venous insufficiency or post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS). PTS is a long-term condition that may lead to disability.
Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment
Treatment for DVT depends on factors that include the individual’s overall health and location of the clot. Physicians also evaluate the patient’s ability to tolerate specific therapies. Treatment is intended to keep:
- Another clot from forming.
- The clot from enlarging.
- The clot or pieces of it from traveling to other parts of the body.
Some of the treatments will require vigilance from you to prevent unwanted complications.
Common treatments include:
- Anticoagulants such as warfarin and heparin to thin the blood. Your patient will be given strict guidelines to prevent excessive bleeding. You may have to help them comply with the guidelines. They may have dietary restrictions.
- Drugs that break up clots.
- Compression stockings, which may be required for months or years.
- Filters placed in the vena cava to prevent clots or pieces of clots from reaching the heart or lungs.
Patients will be advised to elevate their legs to improve circulation and relieve swelling.
Living With Deep Vein Thrombosis
Your expertise helps your patient recover from deep vein thrombosis. Part of the ongoing process of recovery is reducing the risk of recurrence. Emphasize to your patients that they need to continue consulting their physician.
They may need repeated testing. Help them achieve their doctor’s recommended levels of exercise. Warn patients about the dangers of ignoring any bleeding.
Your Pegasus team includes dietitians and therapists who can help individuals achieve and maintain their ideal weight. You can also provide resources to help your patients stop smoking. Individuals can find online support groups where they can interact with others who have DVT.
Join An Organization That Appreciates You
Pegasus in-home nurses in Shadow Hills and our other locations work one-on-one with their patients. That enables them to give the best possible care. As career home health care nurses, they help patients understand medical conditions such as deep vein thrombosis.
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. We are a nurse-owned and operated organization, and we’re hiring licensed professionals. Your skills and abilities will be validated with trust, appreciation, and respect from our staff and your colleagues.