Which of the following lab exams should be performed frequently during the heparin treatment?
A 71-year-old woman, who underwent hip replacement, was dismissed from the hospital with an appropriate post-discharge therapy which included regular heparin, an SC injection daily.
A. RBC count B. Platelet count C. Plasma K+ level D. Plasma Na+ level E. Bleeding time F. Fibrinolysis time
Platelet count-learning objective: list the exams that should be done frequently during heparin treatment. answer: b
heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (hit) is a serious adverse effect of the drug, and therefore
platelet count should be performed weekly during heparin treatment. any thrombocytopenia
appearing during treatment should be considered suspicious for hit.
a, c, d) these exams are not needed during heparin treatment.
e) bleeding time is normal in the presence of coagulation disorders other than
thrombocytopenia or von willebrands disease. it can be increased in case of heparin-induced
thrombocytopenia, but the platelet count is a much more reliable test.
f) this test evaluates fibrinolytic activity. heparin does not interfere with the fibrinolysis test.