NCLEX Review: DVT – Prevention and Treatment
This NCLEX review video is on preventing DVTs. Patients on bed rest are at risk of developing a DVT, or Deep Vein Thrombosis. Once a DVT has developed it could result in a pulmonary embolism (PE). To improve patient outcomes nurses should focus on preventing DVT. Watch as we explain preventative strategies you will want to know for the NCLEX exam, in addition to: Sequential Compression Devices (SCDs) and how they work, Elastic Compression Stockings/TED Hose, why mechanical devices are the first choice for DVT prevention, when SCDs cannot be used, baseline and neurovascular assessments, how TED Hose works and how to use them, and what to chart when you use compression stockings.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) – a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the leg – if the clot breaks loose, it travels through the bloodstream to the lungs, where it gets lodged & results in a pulmonary embolism (PE). In the lung, the clot prevents blood flow, causing damage to the lung or leading to death.
DVT prevention: To improve patient outcomes, nurses should focus on preventing DVT. Early ambulation is the best preventive strategy, but when this is not an option, SCDs or T.E.D. stockings are effective choices.
SCDs (Sequential Compression Device), air-filled sleeves on the legs that inflate and deflate (mimic muscle activity during ambulation) – 1st choice for DVT prevention
- Baseline skin & neurovascular assessment must be done before SCDs applied and every 8 hours thereafter. Include:
- ‘Pins and needles’ sensation
- Skin abnormalities
- S/S of possible blood clots (swelling, redness, pain)
T.E.D. (ThromboEmbolic-Deterrent) anti-embolism stockings – provide continuous pressure to the lower extremities to keep blood from pooling and blood clots from developing in the deep veins of the lower extremities. Available in knee length or thigh length.