Heparin is an anticoagulant that interferes with the activation of fibrin and keeps it from forming a clot. Heparin is rapid acting and used to treat these common conditions:
prevent clots in deep vein thrombosis
There are two types of heparin 1) unfractionated 2) low molecular weight (LMH)
The most important labs to monitor when a client is on Heparin are the PTT and aPTT these should be 1.5-2 times the normal range.
Because unfractionated heparin and LMWH increases the risk of bleeding, the client is monitored for signs of external and internal bleeding such as:
red colored urine/stool
The antidote for Heparin is Protamine sulfate
Heparin will not break up a clot
Heparin is for short term use
Heparin is given during pregnancy instead of Coumadin
Heparin can be given IV or subcutaneously
Coumadin is an anticoagulant that inhibits the action of Vitamin K. Coumadin takes 3-4 days to have the desired effect. It is used to treat these common conditions:
prevent blood clots in deep vein thrombosis
replaced heart valves
The most important lab value to monitor is international normalized ratio (INR); INR should be 2-3.
These medications will increase bleeding with Coumadin:
Alcohol * not a medication but will increase bleeding :)
These herbal medications will inhibit the effect of Coumadin:
* note all these medications start with G :)
Monitor client for signs of bleeding (see above)
The antidote for coumadin is vitamin K.