A patient recovering from a myocardial infarction has been in bed for 6 days. The patient now complains of calf pain. The nurse should first
• Due to the time spent in bed and inactivity, the patient is at high risk for the development of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Pain in the calf, redness or heat, and swelling in the affected extremity are signs of a DVT.
• Diagnostic tests that help diagnose a DVT include a D-dimer test to confirm the presence of fibrin degradation products from a clot, venous ultrasound, venography to visualize the
• Incorrect: Having the patient ambulate or massaging the calf would not help to find the source of the pain.
• Incorrect: Administering pain medication would treat the pain, but would not help determine the source of the pain.