Pharmacology Blood Thinners #2

Question

Which assessment most indicates the client is taking an antiplatelet, such as aspirin?

Answers

  1. Ecchymosis on the arms and hands
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because ecchymosis (bruising) is a very common side effect of antiplatelet medications, such as aspirin. Due to the risk of excessive bleeding, the client should be taught to report blood in the stool.

  2. Thrombosis in the lower extremity
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because antiplatelet medications, such as aspirin, are designed to prevent thrombosis. This assessment might indicate an antiplatelet and/or anticoagulant needs to be prescribed to prevent the thrombosis from becoming a life threatening clot in the lung (pulmonary embolism).

  3. Blurred vision and bradycardia
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because blurred vision and bradycardia are not side effects of antiplatelet medications, such as aspirin. These are most associated with toxic side effects of digoxin.

  4. Headache and severe hypotension
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because headache and hypotension is not a side effect of antiplatelet medications, such as aspirin. These are side effects of nitroglycerin therapy.

Overview

Ecchymosis (bruising) is commonly associated with a client taking a blood thinner or antiplatelet, such as aspirin. Further assessment should be performed to assure no other symptoms of bleeding are evident.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Ecchymosis (bruising) is often observed on the skin of a client taking any antiplatelet, such as aspirin. Antiplatelets help prevent thrombocytes or platelets from sticking together to form a clot. Aspirin is one of the most common antiplatelet medications. It is used to help prevent clots that can form in the arteries supplying the myocardium (heart muscle) to prevent myocardial infarction or in the brain, preventing an ischemic stroke.

Test Taking Tip

Be sure to answer what the question is asking. Watch answers that might address something related to the medication such as indications for medications, rather than side effects of the medication.

Video Rationale