Leona is 52 years old and smokes. She is also overweight and has atherosclerosis. When she was given a 2-week vacation from work, she packed up her bags and flew from Minnesota to Sydney, Australia, for the trip she always wanted to take. Unfortunately, just 3 days after she arrived, she was hospitalized when her left calf became inflamed, causing her considerable pain. The physician attending to her told her she developed a deep vein thrombosis.
1. Explain, using your knowledge of hypercoagulability, why the trip to Australia contributed to Leona’s DVT? Why was Leona already at risk for thrombus development?
2. How does Leona’s atherosclerosis affect platelet function? Conversely, what is the effect of increased platelet activity on the development of atherosclerosis?
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3. How do atherosclerosis and immobility promote changes in blood coagulation?
4. When Leona was in the hospital, she received heparin therapy. Explain why this course of action was taken to treat her DVT. Why was she not given heparin tablets to take back to the hotel with her?