How long for Pulmonary embolism to resolve?

  1. This is probably a reeeeealy stupid question, but I am working on this care plan and struggling with my STO and LTO. They told us this would be difficult because of our lack of experience. Anyway, what would be a reasonable timeframe for resolution of impaired gas exchange r/t pulmonary embolism? Or is there such a thing--maybe I am totally on the wrong track wouldn't be the first time! :roll :roll

    Thanks for any help or guidance--I am feeling really inadequate here!

    Carol (RN 2B Dec 2003)
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    About memphispanda

    Joined: Sep '02; Posts: 957; Likes: 5
    new Med-Surg RN


  3. by   Rustyhammer
    The client will experience adequate O2/CO2 exchange as evidenced by:
    usual mental status
    unlabored respirations at 12 - 20/minute
    oximetry results within normal range
    blood gases within normal range.

    Assess for and report signs and symptoms of impaired gas exchange:
    restlessness, irritability
    confusion, somnolence
    tachypnea, dyspnea
    significant decrease in oximetry results
    decreased PaO2 and/or increased PaCO2
    central cyanosis (a late sign).
    Implement measures to improve gas exchange:
    maintain client on bed rest to reduce oxygen demands during acute respiratory distress; increase activity gradually as allowed and tolerated
    maintain oxygen therapy as ordered
    perform actions to improve breathing pattern
    discourage smoking (the carbon monoxide in smoke decreases oxygen availability and the nicotine can cause vasoconstriction and further reduce pulmonary blood flow)
    perform actions to improve pulmonary blood flow:
    administer anticoagulants (e.g. continuous intravenous heparin, warfarin) as ordered
    Consult appropriate health care provider (e.g. respiratory therapist, physician) if signs and symptoms of impaired gas exchange persist or worsen.
  4. by   memphispanda
    Thank you so much Rusty! I was on the right track I think--from what you posted at least! My instructor may think otherwise :chuckle