a. Signs and Symptoms.
NOTE: May or may not be observable.
Sudden signs of shock and collapse.
Sudden, sharp, stabbing chest pain.
Sudden violent coughing and hemoptysis (spitting of blood).
Pain, blanching, numbness, or coldness in an extremity.
b. Nursing Implications.
Notify the registered nurse (RN) immediately.
Ensure absolute bed rest. Elevate head of bed to relieve respiratory
Prepare to start oxygen by mask at 6 to 8 liters per minute.
Take and record blood pressure, pulse, and respiration.
(5) Prepare to give medication by injection to relieve pain and acute
apprehension. A narcotic drug such as morphine sulfate or meperidine hydrochloride is
(6) Prepare to continue intensive nursing care and constant observation.
(The total care of the patient who survives a pulmonary embolism is similar to that of a
patient who has had a myocardial infarction.)
1-37. ANTICOAGULANT DRUG THERAPY IN THROMBOPHLEBITIS AND
a. General. Anticoagulant drugs such as heparin sodium and coumadin
compounds lessen the tendency of blood to clot. They are frequently ordered as a part
of the medical management of patients who have developed thrombophlebitis or who
have survived an embolism.
(1) These drugs do not dissolve thrombi that have already formed, but are
an important treatment measure to prevent extension of a clot within a blood vessel or
to prevent further intravascular clot formation.
Anticoagulant drugs act by prolonging the clotting time of blood.