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Deep Vein Thrombosis for Nursing Students

Deep Vein Thrombosis: What Is It?

Venous thromboembolism is a disorder that includes a condition known as deep vein thrombosis. When a blood clot (thrombus) develops in one or more of the body's deep veins, commonly in the legs, this condition is known as deep vein thrombosis.

Leg discomfort or swelling can result from deep vein thrombosis, however it can also happen without any symptoms. Because blood clots in the veins have the potential to escape, travel through the bloodstream, and obstruct the lungs, preventing blood flow, deep vein thrombosis is a dangerous disorder.


Deep vein thrombosis may occur for a variety of reasons, some of which are thought to be major contributors to its development even though the precise origin is still unknown.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

  • Reduced blood flow. Blood flow is decreased, veins are dilated, and skeletal muscle contraction is decreased, all of which contribute to venous stasis.

  • Damage. A location for clot formation is created when the intimal lining of blood vessels is damaged.

  • Phlebitis. Phlebitis, an inflammation of the vein walls, frequently coexists with the formation of a thrombus.

  • Platelet aggregates. Venous thrombi are collections of platelets that are adhered to the venous wall and have an extension that resembles a tail and is filled with fibrin, white blood cells, and a significant amount of red blood cells.

  • Recanalization. After an acute episode of DVT, recanalization or reestablishment of the lumen of the vessel typically occurs.


Although the precise origin of deep vein thrombosis is yet unknown, there are some things that could make it worse.

  • Direct trauma. Damage to the veins can result from chemical irritation from IV drugs and solutions as well as direct trauma to the vessels, such as fracture or dislocation.

  • Blood coagulability.The majority of the time, individuals whose anticoagulant drugs have been abruptly stopped experience increased blood coagulability.

  • Oral contraceptives. Hypercoagulability is also caused by the usage of oral contraceptives.

  • Pregnancy. The risk of thrombosis is increased by the normal rise in clotting factors, which may not return to baseline for more than 8 weeks after delivery.

Clinical Manifestations

The general nature of the symptoms and indications makes diagnosing DVT difficult.

  • Edema. Due to the restriction of venous blood flow, edema and swelling of the extremity accompany deep vein occlusion.

  • Tenderness. By gently palpating the affected extremities, you can feel for tenderness, which typically develops later and is caused by inflammation of the vein wall.

  • Pulmonary embolus. Sometimes, pulmonary embolism symptoms and indicators serve as the early warning signs of DVT.


Deep vein thrombosis can be avoided, particularly if patients at high risk are recognized and early preventive steps are taken.

  • Graduated compression stockings. Compression stockings prevent dislodgement of the thrombus.

  • Pneumatic compression device. Intermittent pneumatic compression devices increase blood velocity beyond that produced by the stockings.

  • Leg exercises. Encourage early mobilization and leg exercises to keep the blood circulating adequately.


The following complications should be monitored and managed:

  • Bleeding. Spontaneous bleeding is the main side effect of anticoagulant medication, and it can be found by microscopic inspection of the urine.

  • Thrombocytopenia. Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, which is defined as a rapid reduction in platelet count by at least 30% of baseline levels, may be a side effect of heparin medication.

  • Drug interactions. Because many other drugs, herbal remedies, and dietary supplements interact with oral anticoagulants, careful monitoring of the patient's pharmaceutical regimen is required.

Now that you know the basics about DVT, the next step to prepare for you nursing exams are to know the following:

  • Assessment

  • Diagnostic

  • Medical Management

  • Pharmacology

  • Nursing Management

  • Nursing Interventions

  • Evaluation

Get all the information here with our audiobook for just $5.99! Don’t waste time overstudying and learn the essentials today.

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