Pharmacology Anticoagulants #2
Which medication does the nurse anticipate being prescribed for a patient following an uncomplicated femur bone reduction surgery for prevention of DVT?
- Intravenous heparin
This answer is not correct because intravenous heparin is not needed for prevention of blood clots for an uncomplicated femur surgery. This would be too potent. The low molecular weight heparin, enoxaparin is the appropriate treatment.
- Subcutaneous enoxaparin
This answer is correct because enoxaparin is a low molecular weight heparin which helps provide prophylactic treatment for DVTs. This is needed especially in imobile patients because DVTs can become pulmonary embolisms (PEs), or clots in the lungs.
- Intravenous alteplase
This answer is not correct because alteplase is a thrombolytic and would not be given for prevention of clots. It is a known “clot buster”, used to eliminate existing clots. This is only used in emergency situations such as stroke and myocardial infarction.
- Oral digoxin preparation
This answer is not correct because digoxin is not an appropriate treatment to prevent DVT. Digoxin is a cardiac glycoside, a positive inotrope that increases contractility of the heart. It is used most often in heart failure and atrial fibrillation.
Enoxaparin is an anticoagulant which helps prevent blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), This can lead to life threatening blood clots in the lungs or pulmonary embolism.
Enoxaparin is commonly prescribed for patients who will be confined to the bed or not abulating as usual to help prevent DVTs. It is considered a low-molecular weight heparin and is given subcutaneously to patients in the hospital and as an at-home treatment following surgeries, such as orthopedic when a patient is expected to have decreased mobility. It is also for those with a diagnosed DVT to prevent further blood clots from forming. The nurse and patient should monitor for bleeding, including blood in the stool.
Test Taking Tip
Watch routes of medications when listed in an answer. This may help eliminate answers if not sure about the medication details.