Chapter 45: Anticoagulants, Antiplatelets, and Thrombolytics Nursing School Test Banks

Chapter 45: Anticoagulants, Antiplatelets, and Thrombolytics
Test Bank

MULTIPLE CHOICE

1. The nurse is caring for a postoperative patient. The nurse will anticipate administering which medication to this patient to help prevent thrombus formation caused by slow venous blood flow?
a. Alteplase (Activase)
b. Aspirin
c. Clopidogrel (Plavix)
d. Lowmolecular-weight heparin
ANS: D
Lowmolecular-weight heparin is an anticoagulant, which is used to inhibit clot formation and is used prophylactically to prevent postoperative deep vein thrombosis. Alteplase is a thrombolytic, which is used to break down clots after they form; alteplase is contraindicated in any patient with recent surgery. Aspirin and clopidogrel are antiplatelet drugs and are used to prevent arterial thrombosis.

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2. A nursing student asks why the anticoagulant heparin is given to patients who have disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and are at risk for excessive bleeding. The nurse will explain that heparin is used in this case for which reason?
a. To decrease the risk of venous thrombosis
b. To dissolve blood clots as they form
c. To enhance the formation of fibrous clots
d. To preserve platelet function
ANS: A
The primary use of heparin for patients with DIC is to prevent venous thrombosis, which can lead to pulmonary embolism or stroke. Heparin does not break down blood clots, enhance the formation of fibrous clots, or preserve platelet function.

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3. A patient has been receiving intravenous heparin. When laboratory tests are drawn, the nurse has difficulty stopping bleeding at the puncture site. The patient has bloody stools and is reporting abdominal pain.The nurse notes elevated partial thromboplastin time (PTT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT). Which action will the nurse perform?
a. Ask for an order for oral warfarin (Coumadin).
b. Obtain an order for protamine sulfate.
c. Request an order for vitamin K.
d. Suggest that the patient receive subcutaneous heparin.
ANS: B
Protamine sulfate is given as an antidote to heparin when patients clotting times are elevated. Oral warfarin will not stop the anticoagulant effects of heparin. Vitamin K is used as an antidote for warfarin. Administering heparin by another route is not indicated when there is a need to reverse the effects of heparin.

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4. A patient who has received heparin after previous surgeries will be given enoxaparin sodium (Lovenox) after knee-replacement surgery. The patient asks how this drug is different from heparin. The nurse will explain that enoxaparin
a. decreases the need for laboratory tests.
b. has a shorter half-life than heparin.
c. increases the risk of hemorrhage.
d. may be taken orally instead of subcutaneously.
ANS: A
Enoxaparin is a lowmolecular-weight heparin, which produces more stable responses at lower doses, thus reducing the need for frequent lab monitoring. It has a longer half-life than heparin. It decreases the risk of hemorrhage because it is more stable at lower doses. It is given subcutaneously.

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5. The nurse is caring for a patient who is receiving warfarin (Coumadin) and notes bruising and petechiae on the patients extremities. The nurse will request an order for which laboratory test?
a. International normalized ratio (INR)
b. Platelet level
c. Partial thromboplastin time (PTT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT)
d. Vitamin K level
ANS: A
The INR is the test used most frequently to report prothrombin time results in patients taking warfarin. Warfarin is not an antiplatelet drug, so platelet levels are not indicated. PTT and aPTT are used to monitor heparin therapy. Vitamin K is an antidote for warfarin; levels are not routinely checked.

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6. A patient who is taking warfarin has an international normalized ratio (INR) of 5.5. The nurse will anticipate giving
a. fresh frozen plasma.
b. intravenous iron.
c. oral vitamin K.
d. protamine sulfate.
ANS: C
Vitamin K is an antagonist against warfarin, an oral anticoagulant. Patients with an INR of 5.5 should be given a low dose of oral vitamin K. Too much vitamin K may reduce the effectiveness of warfarin for up to 2 weeks. Fresh frozen plasma and intravenous iron are given for anemia caused by blood loss. Protamine sulfate is given for heparin overdose.

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7. The nurse is teaching a patient who will begin taking warfarin (Coumadin) for atrial fibrillation. Which statement by the patient indicates understanding of the teaching?
a. I should eat plenty of green, leafy vegetables while taking this drug.
b. I should take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) instead of acetaminophen for pain or fever.
c. I will take cimetidine (Tagamet) to prevent gastric irritation and bleeding.
d. I will tell my dentist that I am taking this medication.
ANS: D
Patients taking warfarin should tell their dentists that they are taking the medication because of the increased risk for bleeding. Patients should avoid foods high in vitamin K, which can decrease the effects of warfarin. Patients should not take NSAIDs or cimetidine (Tagamet) because they can displace warfarin from protein-binding sites.

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8. The nurse is assessing a patient who takes warfarin (Coumadin). The nurse notes a heart rate of 92 beats per minute and a blood pressure of 88/78 mm Hg. To evaluate the reason for these vital signs, the nurse will assess the patients
a. gums, nose, and skin.
b. lung sounds and respiratory effort.
c. skin turgor and oral mucous membranes.
d. urine output and level of consciousness.
ANS: A
An increased heart rate followed by a decreased systolic pressure can indicate a fluid volume deficit caused by internal or external bleeding. The nurse should examine the patients mouth, nose, and skin for bleeding. These vital signs do not indicate a pulmonary problem. Skin turgor and mucous membranes as well as urine output and level of consciousness may be assessed to determine the level of fluid deficit, but finding the source of blood loss is more important. Signs of gastrointestinal bleeding should also be assessed.

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9. A patient who has recently had a myocardial infarction (MI) will begin taking clopidogrel (Plavix) to prevent a second MI. Which medication will the nurse expect the provider to order as adjunctive therapy for this patient?
a. Aspirin
b. Enoxaparin sodium (Lovenox)
c. Ticagrelor (Brilinta)
d. Warfarin (Coumadin)
ANS: A
Aspirin is often used with clopidogrel to inhibit platelet aggregation to increase the effectiveness of this drug. Enoxaparin is used to prevent venous thrombosis. Ticagrelor is similar to clopidogrel and is not used along with clopidogrel. Warfarin is used to prevent thrombosis.

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10. A patient is taking clopidogrel bisulfate (Plavix). When teaching this patient about dietary restrictions while taking this medication, the nurse will instruct the patient to avoid excessive consumption of which food?
a. Garlic
b. Grapefruit
c. Green, leafy vegetables
d. Red meats
ANS: A
Patients taking this drug may experience increased bleeding when taken with garlic. There is no restriction for grapefruit as there is with many other medications. Green, leafy vegetables should be restricted in patients taking warfarin. Red meats are not contraindicated.

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11. A patient experiences a blood clot in one leg, and the provider has ordered a thrombolytic medication. The patient learns that the medication is expensive and asks the nurse if it is necessary. Which response by the nurse is correct?
a. The drug will decrease the likelihood of permanent tissue damage.
b. This medication also acts to prevent future blood clots from forming.
c. You could take aspirin instead of this drug to achieve the same effect.
d. Your body will break down the clot, so the drug is not necessary.
ANS: A
Thrombolytic medications are given primarily to prevent permanent tissue damage caused by compromised blood flow to the affected area. Thrombolytics do not prevent clots from forming. Aspirin prevents, but does not dissolve, clots. Although the body will break down the clot, the drug is needed to prevent tissue damage due to active ischemia.

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12. The nurse has just begun administering intravenous streptokinase (Streptase). The nurse assesses vital signs and notes a temperature of 37 C, a heart rate of 70 beats per minute, and a blood pressure of 88/58 mm Hg. The nurse will contact the provider to
a. request an adjustment of the streptokinase dose.
b. request an order for aminocaproic acid (Amicar).
c. request epinephrine to prevent anaphylaxis.
d. report potential hemorrhage in this patient.
ANS: A
Patients receiving streptokinase may experience hypotension when it is first administered and may require an adjustment in dosage. Aminocaproic acid is used to stop bleeding. Epinephrine is given for anaphylaxis, which is characterized by difficulty breathing. A patient with hemorrhage would typically also have tachycardia.

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13. The nurse is caring for a postoperative patient who is receiving alteplase tPA (Activase) after developing a blood clot. The nurse notes a heart rate of 110 beats per minute and a blood pressure of 90/60 mm Hg. The nurse will perform which action?
a. Ask the patient about itching or shortness of breath.
b. Assess the surgical dressing for bleeding.
c. Evaluate the patients urine output and fluid intake.
d. Recheck the patients vital signs in 15 minutes.
ANS: B
Tachycardia and hypotension indicate bleeding. The nurse should check the patients surgical dressing to assess for bleeding. These signs do not indicate anaphylaxis. They may indicate dehydration, but bleeding is the more likely cause of fluid volume deficit. The nurse should continue to evaluate vital signs, but it is imperative that the nurse assess the patient to explore the potential cause.

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14. A patient is receiving a thrombolytic medication. The patient calls the nurse to report having bloody diarrhea. The nurse will anticipate administering which medication?
a. Aminocaproic acid (Amicar)
b. Enoxaparin sodium (Lovenox)
c. Protamine sulfate
d. Vitamin K
ANS: A
The antithrombolytic drug aminocaproic acid is used to treat hemorrhage. Nurses giving thrombolytic drugs should monitor patients for bleeding from the mouth and rectum. Enoxaparin is given for disseminated intravascular coagulation. Protamine sulfate is an antidote for heparin. Vitamin K is an antidote for warfarin.

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15. The nurse is assessing a patient prior to administering thrombolytic therapy. Which is an important assessment for this patient?
a. Determining whether the patient has a history of diabetes
b. Finding out about a history of renal disease
c. Assessing which medications are taken for discomfort
d. Assessing whether the patient eats green, leafy vegetables
ANS: C
Patients who take aspirin or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be monitored closely for excessive bleeding when given thrombolytics. There are no contraindications or precautions for patients with diabetes or renal disease. Foods rich in vitamin K are of concern for patients taking warfarin.

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16. The nurse is preparing to administer a first dose of clopidogrel (Plavix) to a patient. As part of the history, the nurse learns that the patient has a previous history of peptic ulcers, diabetes, and hypertension. The nurse understands it will be necessary to notify the provider and obtain an order for
a. a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication.
b. frequent serum glucose monitoring.
c. increased antihypertensive medications.
d. nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medications.
ANS: A
Patients with a previous history of peptic ulcer are at increased risk for gastric bleeding and should take a PPI or histamine2 blocker to prevent this. There is no indication for increased glucose monitoring or an increase in antihypertensive drugs. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs are contraindicated.

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17. A patient who is taking clopidogrel (Plavix) and aspirin is preparing for orthopedic surgery. The nurse will consult with the surgeon and provide which instruction to the patient?
a. Continue taking aspirin and stop taking clopidogrel 2 weeks prior to surgery.
b. Continue taking clopidogrel and stop taking aspirin 5 days prior to surgery.
c. Continue both medications to prevent thromboembolic events during surgery.
d. Stop taking both medications 7 days prior to surgery.
ANS: D
Because both drugs can prolong bleeding time, patients should discontinue the drugs 7 days prior to surgery.

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18. The nurse is caring for a patient who is receiving clopidogrel (Plavix). The patient calls the nurse to report flulike symptoms. The nurse notes a heart rate of 76 beats per minute, a blood pressure of 110/76 mm Hg, and a respiratory rate of 20 breaths per minute. The nurse suspects that the patient is experiencing which condition?
a. Anaphylaxis
b. An expected drug side effect
c. Hemorrhage
d. Possible myocardial infarction
ANS: B
Flulike symptoms are a side effect of clopidogrel. The patient has normal vital signs. Anaphylaxis is characterized by respiratory distress and hypotension. Hemorrhage is characterized by tachycardia and hypotension.

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MSC: NCLEX: Physiological Integrity: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

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