There are numerous agents utilized to maintain, preserve and restore circulation. The three important dysfunction of blood are thrombosis, bleeding and anemia are commonly treated with various agents. The common ones that nurses must REVIEW are the:
The anticoagulants interfere with the coagulation process by interfering with the clotting cascade and thrombin formation. These agents are used to inhibit clot formation, but they do NOT dissolve existing clots.
Oral anticoagulants prolong the clotting time and are monitored by the Prothrombine Time ( PT- average of 9-12 seconds ). This is usually performed before administering the next dose. The PT level should be 1.5-2 times the reference value to be therapeutic .
The normal INR is 1-2. If the patient is on oral anticoagulant therapy, the INR is maintained at an INR of 2.0-3.0. If the INR is below the recommended range, warfarin is increased. If it is above the recommended range, warfarin should be reduced.
These agents INHIBIT the aggregation of platelets in the clotting process by blocking receptor sites on the platelet membrane, preventing platelet-to-platelet interaction, thereby prolonging the bleeding time.
These thrombolytic agents are used to activate the natural anticlotting fibrinolytic mechanism to convert plasminogen to plasmin, which destroys and breaks down the fibrin threads in the blood clot (FIBRINOLYSIS). The result is clot disintegration.