Practical Nurses Play Role in Prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis

May 20, 2010 | British Columbia

Healthcare workers must know how to spot post-surgical blood clots.

Surrey, BC - May 20, 2010 - An important aspect of the healthcare worker's role in post-surgical care is to prevent the formation of blood clots, or deep vein thrombosis (DVTs) in their patients. It is important for Licensed Practical Nurses and Health Care Assistants to understand DVTs, how they form and how to prevent them.

Causes of DVTs

Post-surgical patients often become immobile for a period of time while they are healing. The lack of mobility leads to impaired blood circulation, which can lead to the DVT, a blood clot that causes a sudden blockage in blood flow.

The Role of the LPN and Health Care Assistant

LPNs and care aides can look for certain symptoms in the patient who has a DVT. While performing daily care, a nurse can assess the patient's legs as in many cases the limbs can be painful, swollen, red and warm. Quite often, a patient with a DVT will have pain once they dorsiflex a foot, or complain of pain when their calf is squeezed. LPNs and Health Care Assistants must understand the seriousness of DVTs, especially in patients who are at risk for developing them. If LPNs and care aides suspect a patient has a DVT they must notify an RN assigned or the patient's doctor.

Everyone's Responsibility

While the ultimate responsibility lies with the RN, doctor or nurse manager, it is extremely important for all staff members dealing with patients on a one-to-one basis are aware of DVTs and how they can be prevented. LPNs and Health Care Assistants can monitor post-surgical patients and assist with mobility to identify and prevent the formation of DVTS

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