Polycythemia Vera: A Review

Christy Golden

myeloproliferative disorders, polycythemia vera, phlebotomy
CJON 2003, 7(5), 553-556. DOI: 10.1188/03.CJON.553-556

Polycythemia vera (PV) is a clonal stem cell disorder characterized by increased erythrocyte production. Its etiology is not fully understood, and hemorrhage, thrombosis, and hyperviscosity may occur at any time during the course of this disorder. Treatment depends on the most affected cell type, duration and severity of the condition, and patient age. PV treatment can involve phlebotomy, administration of myelosuppressive agents, and biologic therapy. The inconsonant nature of the disease and complications related to its various treatments present nursing care challenges. Nurses must work with patients with PV to ensure compliance with treatment, teach awareness of disease-and treatment-related complications, and provide needed support.

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