Thrombolysis

Thrombolysis is used as a treatment for dissolving blood clots in blood vessels that may prove to be life threatening. It is helpful in treating heart attacks and strokes, which occur as a result of blood clots, and pulmonary embolisms. Thrombolysis may involve the use of intravenous lines and catheters to administer the medicine.

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Blood clots can present with different symptoms depending on the site of the clot. A few of the symptoms are as follows:-
  • Rapid breathing, shortness of breath, pain in chest (pulmonary embolism)
  • Nausea , breathlessness, sweating (heart attack as a result of a clot in the coronary arteries)
  • Pain, swelling and redness in the veins (DVT)
  • Abdominal pain and bloody stool (arteries of the intestines)
  • Symptoms of affected brain function such as weakness in one side of the body and loss of vision or speech.
An intravenous line or catheter may be used depending on the type of clot that needs to be treated. 
  • Systemic thrombolysis- in systemic thrombolysis, clot-busting medications or drugs are administered with the help of an IV (intravenous) line through a vein usually in the arm. The drug circulates in the blood stream and eventually reaches the clot. It is used for pulmonary embolisms, heart attacks and strokes.
  • Catheter-directed thrombolysis- in catheter directed thrombolysis, a catheter (small plastic tube) is inserted into the body through a vein. The catheter is used to administer medicine directly into the clot. 
  • Mechanical thrombectomy- this is used to physically break or suck the clot out of the body with the help of a small machine that is attached to one end of the catheter.
Heart and lung function is monitored closely during the procedure. The position of the clot is determined with the help of X-rays and other imaging techniques. The patient may be lightly sedated. The clot could dissolve within 24 hours, but in some cases, it may take upto 72 hours for the clot to dissolve.
  • Bleeding or infections at the site where the IV or catheter were inserted
  • Bleed in the brain which could cause a hemorrhagic stroke (brain stroke)
  • Risk of infection
  • Kidney damage in patients with a pre-existing condition
  • Sometimes, the clot may break and travel to other parts of the body
  • Some patients may develop an allergic reaction to the contrast dye that is injected during the process for imaging purposes

Once the treatment is completed, the doctor will assess and examine the patient to make sure that the clot has been completely dissolved. The patient might need to stay in the hospital for a couple of days. Additional medicine may be given to ensure that the clot has been dissolved completely within hours of the procedure. The patient might also be required to take blood thinners for the next few months to prevent clot formation.

 

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Thrombolysis

Thrombolysis is used as a treatment for dissolving blood clots in blood vessels that may prove to be life threatening. It is helpful in treating heart attacks and strokes, which occur as a result of blood clots, and pulmonary embolisms. Thrombolysis may involve the use of intravenous lines and catheters to administer the medicine.

Symptoms

Blood clots can present with different symptoms depending on the site of the clot. A few of the symptoms are as follows:-
  • Rapid breathing, shortness of breath, pain in chest (pulmonary embolism)
  • Nausea , breathlessness, sweating (heart attack as a result of a clot in the coronary arteries)
  • Pain, swelling and redness in the veins (DVT)
  • Abdominal pain and bloody stool (arteries of the intestines)
  • Symptoms of affected brain function such as weakness in one side of the body and loss of vision or speech.

Treatment

An intravenous line or catheter may be used depending on the type of clot that needs to be treated. 
  • Systemic thrombolysis- in systemic thrombolysis, clot-busting medications or drugs are administered with the help of an IV (intravenous) line through a vein usually in the arm. The drug circulates in the blood stream and eventually reaches the clot. It is used for pulmonary embolisms, heart attacks and strokes.
  • Catheter-directed thrombolysis- in catheter directed thrombolysis, a catheter (small plastic tube) is inserted into the body through a vein. The catheter is used to administer medicine directly into the clot. 
  • Mechanical thrombectomy- this is used to physically break or suck the clot out of the body with the help of a small machine that is attached to one end of the catheter.
Heart and lung function is monitored closely during the procedure. The position of the clot is determined with the help of X-rays and other imaging techniques. The patient may be lightly sedated. The clot could dissolve within 24 hours, but in some cases, it may take upto 72 hours for the clot to dissolve.

Risks

  • Bleeding or infections at the site where the IV or catheter were inserted
  • Bleed in the brain which could cause a hemorrhagic stroke (brain stroke)
  • Risk of infection
  • Kidney damage in patients with a pre-existing condition
  • Sometimes, the clot may break and travel to other parts of the body
  • Some patients may develop an allergic reaction to the contrast dye that is injected during the process for imaging purposes

After Procedure

Once the treatment is completed, the doctor will assess and examine the patient to make sure that the clot has been completely dissolved. The patient might need to stay in the hospital for a couple of days. Additional medicine may be given to ensure that the clot has been dissolved completely within hours of the procedure. The patient might also be required to take blood thinners for the next few months to prevent clot formation.