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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Thrombolysis is a procedure to dissolve a blood clot with medicine. A blood clot can block blood flow to areas of your body and become life-threatening. Thrombolysis can return blood flow and reduce harm to areas such as your brain, heart, or lungs.
HOW TO PREPARE:
Before your procedure:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- You may need blood or other tests before your procedure. Talk to your healthcare provider about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.
The day of your procedure:
- Ask your caregiver before taking any medicine on the day of your procedure. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital.
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN:
What will happen:
- Your healthcare provider will inject thrombolytic medicine into your IV. It is most commonly given into a vein, but it may be given into an artery. If the medicine is given into an artery, a catheter is guided by x-ray so it is near the blood clot.
- Your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored. Healthcare providers may also frequently check your neurological (neuro) status. Your neuro status is checked to see how well your brain is working. Healthcare providers may check your eyes, your memory, and your hand grasp.
After your procedure:
You will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room. The catheter may be left in place if the medicine needs to continue to break up the clot. You will need to stay in the hospital if the catheter is left in place. Your healthcare provider will need to do the thrombolysis again to remove the rest of the clot.
Seek Care Immediately if
- Your skin turns purple on an area of your legs, hips, or arms.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
- Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest that lasts longer than 5 minutes or returns
- Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
- Trouble breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat, especially with chest pain or trouble breathing
- You have any of the following signs of a stroke:
- Numbness or drooping on one side of your face
- Weakness in an arm or leg
- Confusion or difficulty speaking
- Dizziness, a severe headache, or vision loss
Thrombolysis increases your risk for bleeding. You may have increased nosebleeds or bleeding in your gums. You may also have bleeding in your stomach or brain. Bleeding can become severe and life-threatening.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.