British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 19, Iss. 16, 09 Sep 2010, pp 1021 - 1027
Venous thromboembolism (VTE), which includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), is a serious health and social care problem of the developed world, affecting 1 in 1000 adults every year, and with an annual financial overhead of approximately £640 million. The nature of DVT means that often the condition can go unrecognized until the thrombus becomes an embolus. The pathogenesis of DVT continues to be based on Virchow's triad, which attributes VTE to 'hypercoagulability', 'stasis' and 'intimal injury'. The diagnosis of DVT is often the result of a number of tests performed either sequentially or in combination before mechanical and/or chemical treatment is embarked on. Creating public awareness of DVT and PE is the best way to prevent this condition. Nurses are in an ideal position to discuss the importance of lifestyle changes and other related measures to prevent DVT.