A patient is admitted with an acute myocardial infarction (MI). The physician orders aspirin 325 mg PO. The nurse understands that aspirin

decreases platelet aggregation

Explanation

• Aspirin is a cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor that interferes with platelet aggregation. This means the platelets are less "sticky" and may decrease the risk of thrombus formation.

• Heparin inactivates clotting factors and may also be used to treat an acute MI.

• Warfarin blocks vitamin K synthesis, which decreases the risk for blood clots. Warfarin is commonly used to treat deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and atrial fibrillation. 

• Nitrates promote coronary vasodilation and may also be used to treat an acute MI or angina (chest pain). 

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