NCLEX Pharm: Heparin

Class: Anticoagulant

Indication:

  • Prevention of clotting in arterial and heart surgery
  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC)
  • Atrial fibrillation with embolization
  • DVT and Pulmonary embolism

Side effects:

  • Hematology: Thrombocytopenia, bleeding, bruising, injection-site reactions,
  • Skin: hair loss,
  • GI: liver enzyme changes

Nursing Tips:

  • Heparin is a High Alert Medication
  • Adjust dose based on lab results.
  • Dosage is considered adequate when the activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) is 1.5 to 2 times normal
  • Give by deep subcutaneous injections; do not give IM.
  • Have protamine sulfate on hand as antidote.
  • Protect clients from injury, report bleeding gums, black or tarry stools, and severe headache.
  • Avoid intramuscular route of administration because of the frequent occurrence of hematoma at the injection site.
  • Always follow facility’s heparin protocol, whenever working with this medication.

Ref: Roach’s Introductory Clinical Pharmacology

To Your Success!

Rophem 🙂