Phlebitis: the inflammation of a vein. Cause unknown. May
occur in acute or chronic infections or following operations or childbirth.
Embolism: the obstruction of a blood vessel by foreign substances
or a blood clot. Diagnosis depends upon predisposing factors. Embolism
usually due to blood clots.
Thrombosis: the formation, development, or existence of a
blood clot or thrombus within the vascular system. This is a life-saving
process when it occurs during hemorrhage. It is a life-threatening
event when it occurs at any other time because the clot can occlude
a vessel and stop the blood supply to an organ or a part. The thrombus,
if detached, becomes an embolus and occludes a vessel at a distance
from the original site; for example a clot in the leg may break off
and cause a pulmonary (lung) embolus. Consult the doctor immediately.
Thrombosis: Trauma, esp. following an operation, childbirth,
cardiac and vascular disorders, obesity, heredity, increasing age,
an excess of erythrocytes (red blood cells) and of platelets, an overproduction
of fibrinogen, and sepsis (bacteria or other harmful organisms in
the blood stream) are predisposing causes.
Phlebitis: Pain and tenderness along the course of the vein;
discoloration of the skin; inflammatory swelling and acute edema below
obstruction, rapid pulse, mild elevation of temperature. A doctor
should be consulted immediately.
Lungs: Obstruction of smaller vessels in the lungs causes an
infarct manifested by sudden pain in the side of the chest, similar
to pleurisy; also the spitting of blood, a pleural friction rub; and
signs of consolidation.
Kidneys: Blood appears in the urine and small hemorrhagic spots
in the skin.
Spleen: Pain is felt in the left upper abdomen
Extremities: If a large artery in one of the extremities, such
as the brachial, is suddenly obstructed, the part becomes cold, pale,
bluish, and the pulse disappears below the obstructed site. Gangrene
of the digits (toes or fingers) or of the whole limb may ensue.
If any or all of the above symptoms appear, see the doctor immediately.
- Arnica root
- Ginseng, Tienchi
- Gotu kola
- Hawthorn berries
- Lotus nodes
- Rhubarb root
- St. John's wort
If the limb is swollen, watch for pressure sores. Guard against burning
with hot water bottle or electric pad. Prolonged bedrest may be necessary
depending on the condition of the patient.
Anticoagulant therapy is necessary. When a thrombus or embolus is
large, surgical removal may be necessary.
Oral contraceptives should be discontinued until all symptoms are
gone. Consult the doctor as to when to resume oral contraceptives.