Monday, October 17, 2011

Massage Therapy and BLOOD CLOTS

Surgery involves cutting into the body. Blood clots form as part of the healing process. Clots may also form in the veins of the pelvis and lower extremities as a result of blood stasis (stagnation). Blood stasis can occur because of inactivity and bed rest, both of which are common after surgery.

By definition, a blood clot, or thrombus, is attached to a vessel wall. When it becomes a floating mass in the intraluminal space, it is called a thromboembolus, or embolus. An embolus may circulates to the brain, and cause a stroke, to the heart and cause a heart attack, or to the lungs and become a pulmonary embolism, all of which are life threatening.

Thrombocytes, or platelets, are the blood cells used to form clots. Thrombocytes have a life span of about 10 days.

If your client has had surgery, avoid massage on lower extremities for 10 days starting from the time the client is ambulatory and no longer confined to bedrest.


thalarctos said...

This is a very important topic, and one close to my heart, as I've had massive blood clots in my legs.

I agree that the absolutely safest thing to do is to avoid the extremities totally. Yet when I was in the hospital with blood clots the first time, the foot rubs the volunteer MT came around and provided meant the world to me.

I wonder if foot rubs are also a risk for thromboembolism, and whether in retrospect, we should have gone with hand or back rubs instead.

Susan Salvo said...

I see your point, but it might be best to avoid even a foot rub during these 10 day and opt for the hand or back massage.

thalarctos said...

I think you're right about that. If it ever happens to me again, and I devoutly hope it doesn't, I'll know to ask for a hand or back rub instead.

Melissa P said...

Great information for massage therapists to know! I always get doctors notes if consent when it's safe to massage my clients again after surgery . .. each doctor has had varied times.. not all have been 10 days . Thankyou for sharing