The effect of local dry heat pack application on recovering the bruising associated with the subcutaneous injection of heparin

Authors

  • Reva Balci Akpinar MSc, PhD, RN

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
    • Department of Nursing, Ataturk University Faculty of Health Sciences, Erzurum, Turkey
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Correspondence: Reva Balci Akpinar, Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, Ataturk University Faculty of Health Sciences, Erzurum 25240, Turkey. Telephone: +90 532 7173155.

E-mail: reva@atauni.edu.tr

Abstract

Aims and objectives

To determine the effect of the local dry heat pack application on recovering or alleviating the bruising associated with the subcutaneous injection of heparin.

Background

In studies conducted to prevent the bruising associated with the subcutaneous injection of heparin, it is observed that bruising cannot be prevented completely; however, there is a decrease in frequencies and sizes of bruising. There is no study aimed at accelerating the bruising recovery.

Design

Quasi-experimental.

Methods

Thirty-three patients, who were treated for heparin and had bruising in the injection site, were included in the study. One of their upper arms with bruising was considered as the experimental arm, and the other upper arm with bruising was considered as the control arm. ‘Local dry heat pack’ application was performed on the bruising area in the experimental arm 72 hours after the heparin injection. As the bruising areas in the other upper arm were considered as the control arm, no application was performed. The sizes of bruising areas were drawn on the transparent film and determined as square centimetre.

Results

The size of bruising areas was 3·21 ± 3·78 cm² in the experimental arm and 5·22 ± 4·45 cm² in the control arm 120 hours after the injections. The difference between the bruising sizes of the experimental and control arms was statistically significant.

Conclusions

It was observed that ‘local dry heat pack’ application had a positive effect on the recovery of bruising, associated with the subcutaneous injection of heparin.

Relevance to clinical practice

The acceleration of bruising recovery will enable decreasing patients' anxieties, improving their body image and increasing their adherence to therapy.

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