There has been a lot of news this week about DVT (Deep Venous Thrombosis) and PE (Pulmonary embolism). As a Home Care Nurse should I be concerned about my homebound patients or does this mostly affect post-surgical patients and people who do long-distance travel?
Even though we often relate DVT to travel and post-surgical patients, American Heart Association statistics show that DVT occurs in about 2 million Americans every year. It is not widely known that more people suffer from DVT annually than heart attack and stroke, and that pulmonary embolism causes more deaths annually in the United States than breast cancer, AIDS and highway fatalities.
In the elderly, DVT is associated with a 21 percent one-year mortality rate, and PE is associated with a 39 percent one-year mortality rate. PE is the leading cause of maternal death associated with childbirth. Without preventive treatment, up to 60 percent of patients who undergo total hip replacement surgery may develop DVT. These are only a few of the circumstances that we can affect on a daily basis.
Advanced age, obesity, acute medical illness, paralysis, cancer and chemotherapy treatment, chronic heart or respiratory failure are the issues we treat daily and are noted as top triggering events.
VNAA is working with the Coalition To Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis and the month of March is DVT Awareness Month. Please go to the VNAA website to find out more information on this serious medical condition. Be aware of the symptoms of DVT and what diagnostic tests are available. Help reduce the risks learn what effective prophylaxis and treatment options exist for deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
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