How inactive must a patient be to develop a DVT?

Nursing Students General Students


I've always wondered this. Anybody ever hear of an answer to this question?

I have always thought very inactive people like being put under general anesthesia for a long period of time as well as bed rest and paralyzed individuals.. I'm sure there are plenty more disease processes that can but I haven't taken med surg yet.

My mom had a DVT this past December. She doesn't workout at all but she is a nurse that works 5 days a week doing Picc lines. We don't know what caused it. She had a hx of lung cancer, but never a smoker. Does stress cause it? My grandmother was hospitalized the day after Thanksgiving. My mom was supposed to have an ultrasound the following week but then my grandmother died. After my mom ran around with her sisters making funeral arrangements she finally got in and they found the clot. Maybe it was her HRT that was the cause. We don't know for sure.

Specializes in ICU, ED, PACU.

DVT can occur in any patient with a pulse. Use your SCD's.

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

I don't think there is a definitive answer to that. I have a coworker that had a DVT and she is young and active.There was no apparent reason.

Specializes in Critical Care, Cardiology, Education.

Virchow's Triad: 1. Venous stasis (not moving) 2. Vascular trauma 3. Hypercoagulable state Your question revolves around #1...even normally healthy people get DVTs on long plane flights. There is no definitive length of time necessary to develop a DVT. The body is constantly developing and lysing clots. It is part of the normal hemostatic mechanism. Like DuluthMike said, "Use your SCDs"...and of course, pharmacologic prophylaxis (unfractionated SubQ heparin or the like).

Thanks for the answers, guys. I've always wondered if SCDs were necessary on a patient that ambulates throughout the day, but your comments really make it seem like they are.

Specializes in ICU.

Yes SCDs are very important. Even though your patient is ambulatory 20 minutes in the hallway say, twice a day, the rest of the time they are lying in bed. Think about your normal day and how much you move, even if it is just to walk to the kitchen. Big difference.

DVTs can happen to anyone at anytime. The key is certain conditions such as cancer can increase the risk. A nurse I work with developed a spontaneous DVT this last winter.

People can get a dvt from a plane trip, so I guess it doesn't take a whole lot of inactivity.

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