Medical Surgical Labs Coagulation Panel #2

Question

A home health nurse is reviewing the medication list with her leukemia client who has thrombocytopenia. The client is no longer taking chemotherapy. Which medications on the list would the nurse question? Select all that apply.

Answers

  1. Prednisone
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because prednisone is a steroid used for immunosuppression. Steroid drugs suppress the immune system so that it does not destroy platelets.

  2. Omega 3
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because Omega 3, otherwise known as “fish oil” reduces platelet aggregation. Studies show it also reduces immune function, which can cause the immune system to destroy platelets. Supplements should always be taken judiciously under the care of a healthcare provider.

  3. Acetaminophen
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because unless the client overdoses, acetaminophen has no bearing on platelet count. Bleeding precautions will be put in place if a client overdoses on Tylenol due to vitamin K being stored in the liver.

  4. Aspirin
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because aspirin is an antiplatelet. Antiplatelets block thromboxane which is responsible for platelet aggregation. The client with thrombocytopenia should not take anything that can further reduce platelet count.

  5. Ginseng
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because ginseng inhibits platelet production. It is not unusual for a cancer client to turn to supplements and ginseng is known for its anti-emetic properties. Before taking supplements, clients should discuss with their healthcare providers. Just because something is “all naturalâ€ does not mean it cannot be harmful.

Overview

Thrombocytopenia is when there are a low amount of platelets in the body. The client with thrombocytopenia should not take anything that can further reduce platelet count.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Thrombocytopenia is when there are a low amount of platelets in the body. The client with thrombocytopenia should not take anything that can further reduce platelet count. Omega 3 reduces immune function, which can cause the immune system to destroy platelets. It also reduces platelet aggregation. Ginseng is another supplement that inhibits platelet production. Supplements should always be taken judiciously under the care of a healthcare provider. Aspirin is an antiplatelet and should not be taken in clients with low platelets.

Test Taking Tip

Remember this memory trick for supplements to avoid when there are low platelets: “No EGGGOS:” Vitamin E, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, garlic, omega 3 fatty acids, and St. John’s Wort.

Video Rationale