1. Definition of "thrombophlebitis."


  1. It is an inflammation of the vein with a clot formation.

  2. It occurs most often in the veins of the legs, but may occur in other areas of the body.


  1. Factors that may increase the risk of thrombophlebitis.


    1. Long periods of immobility or lack of position changes.

    2. Oral contraceptives.

    3. Trauma.

    4. Varicose veins or other vascular problems.

    5. Intravenous therapy.

    6. Advancing age.

    7. Cardiac disease.

    8. Cigarette smoking.

    9. Obesity.

    10. Surgery.


  1. Signs and symptoms of thrombophlebitis.


  1. Superficial thrombophlebitis:

  2. Increased firmness of the vein.

  3. Redness and warmth along the vein.

  4. Tenderness.

  5. Fever.

  6. Swelling.

  1. Deep vein thrombosis (NOTE: may not have any symptoms).

  1. Cramping leg pain aggravated by movement.

  2. Increased warmth of the skin.

  3. Fever.

  4. Tenderness.

  5. Edema.

  6. Positive Homan's sign (pain upon straightening or extending toes).


  1. Measures to prevent or manage thrombophlebitis.



  1. Treatments that may be ordered for thrombophlebitis.


    1. Pain relief:

  1. Warm, moist heat to affected area as ordered.

  2. Analgesics as ordered.

  1. Anticoagulants as ordered. (Provide Coumadin handout as appropriate.)

  2. Bed rest or activity as instructed.

  3. Prevention of emboli:

  1. Fluids increased to at least 6-8 glasses per day.

  2. Massaging of affected part avoided.

  3. Anti-embolism stockings.


  1. Possible complications of thrombophlebitis.


    1. Pulmonary embolism (blood clot to the lung).

    2. Stroke (blood clot to the brain).