Care of a Patient with a Dvt

2334 Words Apr 7th, 2015 10 Pages
Annie Coffey is a 72 year old woman that has developed a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) due to reduced mobility while on bed rest. This assignment will discuss the signs, symptoms, prevention and management of a DVT and the use of warfarin as long term treatment. The assignment will explain what a DVT is and discuss its potential implications. The nurse’s role in the prevention of DVTs will be discussed in detail as well as the nursing management of Annie. The importance of patient education will be highlighted throughout the assignment and important discharge advice while on warfarin will be explained.
A DVT is a thrombus or blood clot that most commonly occurs in deep veins in the leg or pelvis. DVTs usually start distally in the veins of
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2010).
DVTs usually occur within the deep veins of the lower leg. The DVTs that remain in the lower leg and calf tend to be asymptomatic and do not become clinically significant. A DVT is most likely to present symptoms when the proximal leg veins are involved and also when the DVT obstructs venous outflow resulting in inflammation of the vein wall (Bonner and Johnson, 2014). Warmth, redness, pain and swelling in the affected limb are common symptoms of a DVT. If a patient presents with these symptoms, a physical examination of the whole limb should be undertaken by a nurse or physician to observe for signs suggestive of a DVT. Suggestive symptoms of DVTs include superficial venous dilation, tenderness along the course of the vein, unilateral leg oedema, cyanosis, warmth and erythema (Bonner and Johnson, 2014). On examination of the limb, these are the symptoms that the nurse or physician should be looking out for, however, diagnosis on clinical presentation alone is extremely difficult as these symptoms are not specific to DVT and can be present in numerous other conditions. To improve accuracy when determining the probability of a DVT, nurses are advised to use the two level DVT Wells score. Each clinical feature is accompanied with a score. If a patient presents with a score that is two points or higher, it is likely that a DVT is present and…