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Is it advised to use heat in case of swelling or pain?

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Practicing since : 1991
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I am a supervisor of phlebotomy staff in a very large hospital. Whenever we have outpatients call and complain that have swelling or pain of a phlebotomy site we have patients use ice, and if it problem persists or gets worse they can of course have a physician check it if the desire, or need to. My mother who is several hundred miles away called me tonight with this problem. I gave her the advise to use ice, and then she called me back to say the nurse finally called her back, but they told her to use heat. So, needless to say I disagree. Please advise what you would tell a patient to do. YYYY@YYYY
Posted Wed, 17 Oct 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. G.Srinivasan 33 minutes later

Thanks for your query. I understand your worry.
Ice tends to constrict the blood vessels and thereby tends to reduce the extravasation from the puncture site.
Heat has the opposite action, but one needs to remember it gives significant symptomatic relief from pain.
Since she is on Coumadin, some amount of extravasation would have happened.
Also use THROMBOPHOB gel and I have given you supportive reasons below.
So, I would advise moderate heat application PLUS THROMBOPHOB and limb elevation.


THROMBOPHOB GEL is a novel form of heparin therapy for topical application. The glass-clear gel is distinguished, in particular, by its ability to penetrate pathologically altered tissue immediately upon application without leaving residues or degreasing the skin.
The properties and mode of action of natural heparin offer all the prerequisites necessary for effective therapy of thrombophlebitis occurring close to the skin and of other superficial inflammations.
Heparin assists in strengthening and supporting the connective tissues. Scar tissue becomes soft and regains elasticity and strength.
Heparin also has an anti-exudative effect, thus alleviating pain and promoting tissue metabolism and the process of healing.

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