Heparin and enoxaparin (Lovenox) are two common anticoagulants given to patients to decrease VTE from occurring. However, if the patient is having a surgical procedure, ask the provider if doses before the operation need to be held.
Educating the patient will inform them of the importance of completing exercises and staying active while in the hospital. If the patient is having surgery, preoperative education should be taught on risks for clots and what is expected after surgery. This will improve patient participation and lessen anxiety.
Early ambulation helps improve cardiac output, enhances lung expansion, and prevents joint rigidity.
Frequent ambulation will decrease venous stasis in the legs and improve venous return.
TED stockings or sequential pneumatic compression devices (SCDs) are a great way to improve venous blood flow while a patient is in bed. Stockings can stay on all day while the compression devices should be removed while the patient is ambulating.
Nicotine and contraceptives are a known risk factor for developing VTE. Some medications can damage blood vessel walls while others change the chemistry of the blood leading to thrombus formation. Educate the patient on these risk factors and to monitor for signs of a VTE.
Surgical intervention is done to prevent complications or to eliminate a VTE. Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters can be placed to catch any clots that break off into the bloodstream. Other interventions can be the administration of a thrombolytic medication or a vascular surgeon can perform a thrombectomy.
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