1. The nurse is taking a health history of a new patient. The patient
reports experiencing pain in his left lower leg and foot when walking.
This pain is relieved with rest. The nurse notes that the left lower
leg is slightly edematous and is hairless. When planning this
patient’s subsequent care, the nurse should most likely address what
A) Coronary artery disease (CAD)
B) Intermittent claudication
C) Arterial embolus
D) Raynaud’s disease
A muscular, cramp-type pain in the extremities consistently reproduced with the same degree of exercise or activity and relieved by rest is experienced by patients with peripheral arterial insufficiency. Referred to as intermittent claudication, this pain is caused by the inability of the arterial system to provide adequate blood flow to the tissues in the face of increased demands for nutrients and oxygen during exercise. The nurse would not suspect the patient has CAD, arterial embolus, or Raynaud’s disease; none of these health problems produce this cluster of signs and symptoms.
2. While assessing a patient the nurse notes that the patient’s
ankle-brachial index (ABI) of the right leg is 0.40. How should the
nurse best respond to this assessment finding?
A) Assess the patient’s use of over-the-counter dietary supplements.
B) Implement interventions relevant to arterial narrowing.
C) Encourage the patient to increase intake of foods high in vitamin K.
D) Adjust the patient’s activity level to accommodate decreased coronary output.
ABI is used to assess the degree of stenosis of peripheral arteries. An ABI of less than 1.0 indicates possible claudication of the peripheral arteries. It does not indicate inadequate coronary output. There is no direct indication for changes in vitamin K intake and OTC medications are not likely causative.
3. The nurse is providing care for a patient who has just been
diagnosed with peripheral arterial occlusive disease (PAD). What
assessment finding is most consistent with this diagnosis?
A) Numbness and tingling in the distal extremities
B) Unequal peripheral pulses between extremities
C) Visible clubbing of the fingers and toes
D) Reddened extremities with muscle atrophy
PAD assessment may manifest as unequal pulses between extremities, with the affected leg cooler and paler than the unaffected leg. Intermittent claudication is far more common than sensations of numbness and tingling. Clubbing and muscle atrophy are not associated with PAD.
4. The nurse is admitting a 32-year-old woman to the presurgical
unit. The nurse learns during the admission assessment that the
patient takes oral contraceptives. Consequently, the nurse’s
postoperative plan of care should include what intervention?
A) Early ambulation and leg exercises
B) Cessation of the oral contraceptives until 3 weeks postoperative
C) Doppler ultrasound of peripheral circulation twice daily
D) Dependent positioning of the patient’s extremities when at rest
Oral contraceptive use increases blood coagulability; with bed rest, the patient may be at increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis. Leg exercises and early ambulation are among the interventions that address this risk. Assessment of peripheral circulation is important, but Doppler ultrasound may not be necessary to obtain these data. Dependent positioning increases the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). Contraceptives are not normally discontinued to address the risk of VTE in the short term.
5. A nurse is creating an education plan for a patient with venous
insufficiency. What measure should the nurse include in the
A) Avoiding tight-fitting socks.
B) Limit activity whenever possible.
C) Sleep with legs in a dependent position.
D) Avoid the use of pressure stockings.
Measures taken to prevent complications include avoiding tight-fitting socks and panty girdles; maintaining activities, such as walking, sleeping with legs elevated, and using pressure stockings. Not included in the teaching plan for venous insufficiency would be reducing activity, sleeping with legs dependent, and avoiding pressure stockings. Each of these actions exacerbates venous insufficiency.
6. The nurse is caring for a patient with a large venous leg ulcer.
What intervention should the nurse implement to promote healing and
A) Provide a high-calorie, high-protein diet.
B) Apply a clean occlusive dressing once daily and whenever soiled.
C) Irrigate the wound with hydrogen peroxide once daily.
D) Apply an antibiotic ointment on the surrounding skin with each dressing change.
Wound healing is highly dependent on adequate nutrition. The diet should be sufficiently high in calories and protein. Antibiotic ointments are not normally used on the skin surrounding a leg ulcer and occlusive dressings can exacerbate impaired blood flow. Hydrogen peroxide is not normally used because it can damage granulation tissue.
7. The nurse is caring for a patient who returned from the tropics a
few weeks ago and who sought care with signs and symptoms of
lymphedema. The nurse’s plan of care should prioritize what nursing
A) Risk for infection related to lymphedema
B) Disturbed body image related to lymphedema
C) Ineffective health maintenance related to lymphedema
D) Risk for deficient fluid volume related to lymphedema
Lymphedema, which is caused by accumulation of lymph in the tissues, constitutes a significant risk for infection. The patient’s body image is likely to be disturbed, and the nurse should address this, but infection is a more significant threat to the patient’s physiological well-being. Lymphedema is unrelated to ineffective health maintenance and deficient fluid volume is not a significant risk.
8. An occupational health nurse is providing an educational event and
has been asked by an administrative worker about the risk of varicose
veins. What should the nurse suggest as a proactive preventative
measure for varicose veins?
A) Sit with crossed legs for a few minutes each hour to promote relaxation.
B) Walk for several minutes every hour to promote circulation.
C) Elevate the legs when tired.
D) Wear snug-fitting ankle socks to decrease edema.
A proactive approach to preventing varicose veins would be to walk for several minutes every hour to promote circulation. Sitting with crossed legs may promote relaxation, but it is contraindicated for patients with, or at risk for, varicose veins. Elevating the legs only helps blood passively return to the heart and does not help maintain the competency of the valves in the veins. Wearing tight ankle socks is contraindicated for patients with, or at risk for, varicose veins; socks that are below the muscles of the calf do not promote venous return, the socks simply capture the blood and promote venous stasis.
9. A patient comes to the walk-in clinic with complaints of pain in
his foot following stepping on a roofing nail 4 days ago. The patient
has a visible red streak running up his foot and ankle. What health
problem should the nurse suspect?
B) Local inflammation
Lymphangitis is an acute inflammation of the lymphatic channels. It arises most commonly from a focus of infection in an extremity. Usually, the infectious organism is hemolytic streptococcus. The characteristic red streaks that extend up the arm or the leg from an infected wound outline the course of the lymphatic vessels as they drain. Cellulitis is caused by bacteria, which cause a generalized edema in the subcutaneous tissues surrounding the affected area. Local inflammation would not present with red streaks in the lymphatic channels. Elephantiasis is transmitted by mosquitoes that carry parasitic worm larvae; the parasites obstruct the lymphatic channels and results in gross enlargement of the limbs.
10. The triage nurse in the ED is assessing a patient who has
presented with complaint of pain and swelling in her right lower leg.
The patient’s pain became much worse last night and appeared along
with fever, chills, and sweating. The patient states, “I hit my leg on
the car door 4 or 5 days ago and it has been sore ever since.” The
patient has a history of chronic venous insufficiency. What
intervention should the nurse anticipate for this patient?
A) Platelet transfusion to treat thrombocytopenia
B) Warfarin to treat arterial insufficiency
C) Antibiotics to treat cellulitis
D) Heparin IV to treat VTE
Cellulitis is the most common infectious cause of limb swelling. The signs and symptoms include acute onset of swelling, localized redness, and pain; it is frequently associated with systemic signs of fever, chills, and sweating. The patient may be able to identify a trauma that accounts for the source of infection. Thrombocytopenia is a loss or decrease in platelets and increases a patient’s risk of bleeding; this problem would not cause these symptoms. Arterial insufficiency would present with ongoing pain related to activity. This patient does not have signs and symptoms of VTE.
11. A nurse in a long-term care facility is caring for an 83-year-old
woman who has a history of HF and peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
At present the patient is unable to stand or ambulate. The nurse
should implement measures to prevent what complication?
B) Deep vein thrombosis
C) Thoracic aortic aneurysm
D) Raynaud’s disease
Although the exact cause of venous thrombosis remains unclear, three factors, known as Virchow’s triad, are believed to play a significant role in its development: stasis of blood (venous stasis), vessel wall injury, and altered blood coagulation. In this woman’s case, she has venous stasis from immobility, vessel wall injury from PAD, and altered blood coagulation from HF. The cause of aoritis is unknown, but it has no direct connection to HF, PAD, or mobility issues. The greatest risk factors for thoracic aortic aneurysm are atherosclerosis and hypertension; there is no direct connection to HF, PAD, or mobility issues. Raynaud’s disease is a disorder that involves spasms of blood vessels and, again, no direct connection to HF, PAD, or mobility issues.
12. A nurse is admitting a 45-year-old man to the medical unit who
has a history of PAD. While providing his health history, the patient
reveals that he smokes about two packs of cigarettes a day, has a
history of alcohol abuse, and does not exercise. What would be the
priority health education for this patient?
A) The lack of exercise, which is the main cause of PAD.
B) The likelihood that heavy alcohol intake is a significant risk factor for PAD.
C) Cigarettes contain nicotine, which is a powerful vasoconstrictor and may cause or aggravate PAD.
D) Alcohol suppresses the immune system, creates high glucose levels, and may cause PAD.
Tobacco is powerful vasoconstrictor; its use with PAD is highly detrimental, and patients are strongly advised to stop using tobacco. Sedentary lifestyle is also a risk factor, but smoking is likely a more significant risk factor that the nurse should address. Alcohol use is less likely to cause PAD, although it carries numerous health risks.
13. A nurse has written a plan of care for a man diagnosed with
peripheral arterial insufficiency. One of the nursing diagnoses in the
care plan is altered peripheral tissue perfusion related to
compromised circulation. What is the most appropriate intervention for
A) Elevate his legs and arms above his heart when resting.
B) Encourage the patient to engage in a moderate amount of exercise.
C) Encourage extended periods of sitting or standing.
D) Discourage walking in order to limit pain.
The nursing diagnosis of altered peripheral tissue perfusion related to compromised circulation requires interventions that focus on improving circulation. Encouraging the patient to engage in a moderate amount of exercise serves to improve circulation. Elevating his legs and arms above his heart when resting would be passive and fails to promote circulation. Encouraging long periods of sitting or standing would further compromise circulation. The nurse should encourage, not discourage, walking to increase circulation and decrease pain.
14. The nurse is caring for a 72-year-old patient who is in cardiac
rehabilitation following heart surgery. The patient has been walking
on a regular basis for about a week and walks for 15 minutes 3 times a
day. The patient states that he is having a cramp-like pain in the
legs every time he walks and that the pain gets “better when I rest.”
The patient’s care plan should address what problem?
A) Decreased mobility related to VTE
B) Acute pain related to intermittent claudication
C) Decreased mobility related to venous insufficiency
D) Acute pain related to vasculitis
Intermittent claudication presents as a muscular, cramp-type pain in the extremities consistently reproduced with the same degree of exercise or activity and relieved by rest. Patients with peripheral arterial insufficiency often complain of intermittent claudication due to a lack of oxygen to muscle tissue. Venous insufficiency presents as a disorder of venous blood reflux and does not present with cramp-type pain with exercise. Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels and presents with weakness, fever, and fatigue, but does not present with cramp-type pain with exercise. The pain associated with VTE does not have this clinical presentation.
15. A nurse in the rehabilitation unit is caring for an older adult
patient who is in cardiac rehabilitation following an MI. The nurse’s
plan of care calls for the patient to walk for 10 minutes 3 times a
day. The patient questions the relationship between walking and heart
function. How should the nurse best reply?
A) “The arteries in your legs constrict when you walk and allow the blood to move faster and with more pressure on the tissue.”
B) Walking increases your heart rate and blood pressure. Therefore your heart is under less stress.”
C) “Walking helps your heart adjust to your new arteries and helps build your self-esteem.”
D) “When you walk, the muscles in your legs contract and pump the blood in your veins back toward your heart, which allows more blood to return to your heart.”
Veins, unlike arteries, are equipped with valves that allow blood to move against the force of gravity. The legs have one-way bicuspid valves that prevent blood from seeping backward as it moves forward by the muscles in our legs pressing on the veins as we walk and increasing venous return. Leg arteries do constrict when walking, which allows the blood to move faster and with more pressure on the tissue, but the greater concern is increasing the flow of venous blood to the heart. Walking increases, not decreases, the heart’ pumping ability, which increases heart rate and blood pressure and the hearts ability to manage stress. Walking does help the heart adjust to new arteries and may enhance self-esteem, but the patient had an MI—there are no “new arteries.”
16. The nurse is caring for a patient who is admitted to the medical
unit for the treatment of a venous ulcer in the area of her lateral
malleolus that has been unresponsive to treatment. What is the nurse
most likely to find during an assessment of this patient’s
B) Heavy exudate
C) Deep wound bed
D) Pale-colored wound bed
Venous ulcerations in the area of the medial or lateral malleolus (gaiter area) are typically large, superficial, and highly exudative. Venous hypertension causes extravasation of blood, which discolors the area of the wound bed. Bleeding is not normally present.
17. The nurse is preparing to administer warfarin (Coumadin) to a
client with deep vein thrombophlebitis (DVT). Which laboratory value
would most clearly indicate that the patient’s warfarin is at
A) Partial thromboplastin time (PTT) within normal reference range
B) Prothrombin time (PT) eight to ten times the control
C) International normalized ratio (INR) between 2 and 3
D) Hematocrit of 32%
The INR is most often used to determine if warfarin is at a therapeutic level; an INR of 2 to 3 is considered therapeutic. Warfarin is also considered to be at therapeutic levels when the client’s PT is 1.5 to 2 times the control. Higher values indicate increased risk of bleeding and hemorrhage, whereas lower values indicate increased risk of blood clot formation. Heparin, not warfarin, prolongs PTT. Hematocrit does not provide information on the effectiveness of warfarin; however, a falling hematocrit in a client taking warfarin may be a sign of hemorrhage.
18. The clinic nurse is caring for a 57-year-old client who reports
experiencing leg pain whenever she walks several blocks. The patient
has type 1 diabetes and has smoked a pack of cigarettes every day for
the past 40 years. The physician diagnoses intermittent claudication.
The nurse should provide what instruction about long-term care to the
A) “Be sure to practice meticulous foot care.”
B) “Consider cutting down on your smoking.”
C) “Reduce your activity level to accommodate your limitations.”
D) “Try to make sure you eat enough protein.”
The patient with peripheral vascular disease or diabetes should receive education or reinforcement about skin and foot care. Intermittent claudication and other chronic peripheral vascular diseases reduce oxygenation to the feet, making them susceptible to injury and poor healing; therefore, meticulous foot care is essential. The patient should stop smoking—not just cut down—because nicotine is a vasoconstrictor. Daily walking benefits the patient with intermittent claudication. Increased protein intake will not alleviate the patient’s symptoms.
19. A patient who has undergone a femoral to popliteal bypass graft
surgery returns to the surgical unit. Which assessments should the
nurse perform during the first postoperative day?
A) Assess pulse of affected extremity every 15 minutes at first.
B) Palpate the affected leg for pain during every assessment.
C) Assess the patient for signs and symptoms of compartment syndrome every 2 hours.
D) Perform Doppler evaluation once daily.
The primary objective in the postoperative period is to maintain adequate circulation through the arterial repair. Pulses, Doppler assessment, color and temperature, capillary refill, and sensory and motor function of the affected extremity are checked and compared with those of the other extremity; these values are recorded initially every 15 minutes and then at progressively longer intervals if the patient’s status remains stable. Doppler evaluations should be performed every 2 hours. Pain is regularly assessed, but palpation is not the preferred method of performing this assessment. Compartment syndrome results from the placement of a cast, not from vascular surgery.
20. You are caring for a patient who is diagnosed with Raynaud’s
phenomenon. The nurse should plan interventions to address what
A) Chronic pain
B) Ineffective tissue perfusion
C) Impaired skin integrity
D) Risk for injury
Raynaud’s phenomenon is a form of intermittent arteriolar vasoconstriction resulting in inadequate tissue perfusion. This results in coldness, pain, and pallor of the fingertips or toes. Pain is typically intermittent and acute, not chronic, and skin integrity is rarely at risk. In most cases, the patient is not at a high risk for injury.
21. A patient presents to the clinic complaining of the inability to
grasp objects with her right hand. The patient’s right arm is cool and
has a difference in blood pressure of more than 20 mm Hg compared with
her left arm. The nurse should expect that the primary care provider
may diagnose the woman with what health problem?
B) Raynaud’s phenomenon
C) Upper extremity arterial occlusive disease
D) Upper extremity VTE
The patient with upper extremity arterial occlusive disease typically complains of arm fatigue and pain with exercise (forearm claudication) and inability to hold or grasp objects (e.g., combing hair, placing objects on shelves above the head) and, occasionally, difficulty driving. Assessment findings include coolness and pallor of the affected extremity, decreased capillary refill, and a difference in arm blood pressures of more than 20 mm Hg. These symptoms are not closely associated with Raynaud’s or lymphedema. The upper extremities are rare sites for VTE.
22. A nurse working in a long-term care facility is performing the
admission assessment of a newly admitted, 85-year-old resident. During
inspection of the resident’s feet, the nurse notes that she appears to
have early evidence of gangrene on one of her great toes. The nurse
knows that gangrene in the elderly is often the first sign of
A) Chronic venous insufficiency
B) Raynaud’s phenomenon
In elderly people, symptoms of PAD may be more pronounced than in younger people. In elderly patients who are inactive, gangrene may be the first sign of disease. Venous insufficiency does not normally manifest with gangrene. Similarly, VTE and Raynaud’s phenomenon do not cause the ischemia that underlies gangrene.
23. The prevention of VTE is an important part of the nursing care of
high-risk patients. When providing patient teaching for these
high-risk patients, the nurse should advise lifestyle changes,
including which of the following? Select all that apply.
A) High-protein diet
B) Weight loss
C) Regular exercise
D) Smoking cessation
E) Calcium and vitamin D supplementation
Ans: B, C, D
Patients at risk for VTE should be advised to make lifestyle changes, as appropriate, which may include weight loss, smoking cessation, and regular exercise. Increased protein intake and supplementation with vitamin D and calcium do not address the main risk factors for VTE.
24. The nurse is caring for an acutely ill patient who is on
anticoagulant therapy. The patient has a comorbidity of renal
insufficiency. How will this patient’s renal status affect heparin
A) Heparin is contraindicated in the treatment of this patient.
B) Heparin may be administered subcutaneously, but not IV.
C) Lower doses of heparin are required for this patient.
D) Coumadin will be substituted for heparin.
If renal insufficiency exists, lower doses of heparin are required. Coumadin cannot be safely and effectively used as a substitute and there is no contraindication for IV administration.
25. The nurse is assessing a woman who is pregnant at 27 weeks’
gestation. The patient is concerned about the recent emergence of
varicose veins on the backs of her calves. What is the nurse’s best
A) Facilitate a referral to a vascular surgeon.
B) Assess the patient’s ankle-brachial index (ABI) and perform Doppler ultrasound testing.
C) Encourage the patient to increase her activity level.
D) Teach the patient that circulatory changes during pregnancy frequently cause varicose veins.
Pregnancy may cause varicosities because of hormonal effects related to decreased venous outflow, increased pressure by the gravid uterus, and increased blood volume. In most cases, no intervention or referral is necessary. This finding is not an indication for ABI assessment and increased activity will not likely resolve the problem.
26. Graduated compression stockings have been prescribed to treat a
patient’s venous insufficiency. What education should the nurse
prioritize when introducing this intervention to the patient?
A) The need to take anticoagulants concurrent with using compression stockings
B) The need to wear the stockings on a “one day on, one day off” schedule
C) The importance of wearing the stockings around the clock to ensure maximum benefit
D) The importance of ensuring the stockings are applied evenly with no pressure points
Any type of stocking can inadvertently become a tourniquet if applied incorrectly (i.e., rolled tightly at the top). In such instances, the stockings produce rather than prevent stasis. For ambulatory patients, graduated compression stockings are removed at night and reapplied before the legs are lowered from the bed to the floor in the morning. They are used daily, not on alternating days. Anticoagulants are not always indicated in patients who are using compression stockings.
27. The nurse caring for a patient with a leg ulcer has finished
assessing the patient and is developing a problem list prior to
writing a plan of care. What major nursing diagnosis might the care
A) Risk for disuse syndrome
B) Ineffective health maintenance
C) Sedentary lifestyle
D) Imbalanced nutrition: less than body requirements
Major nursing diagnoses for the patient with leg ulcers may include imbalanced nutrition: less than body requirements, related to increased need for nutrients that promote wound healing. Risk for disuse syndrome is a state in which an individual is at risk for deterioration of body systems owing to prescribed or unavoidable musculoskeletal inactivity. A leg ulcer will affect activity, but rarely to this degree. Leg ulcers are not necessarily a consequence of ineffective health maintenance or sedentary lifestyle.
28. How should the nurse best position a patient who has leg ulcers
that are venous in origin?
A) Keep the patient’s legs flat and straight.
B) Keep the patient’s knees bent to 45-degree angle and supported with pillows.
C) Elevate the patient’s lower extremities.
D) Dangle the patient’s legs over the side of the bed.
Positioning of the legs depends on whether the ulcer is of arterial or venous origin. With venous insufficiency, dependent edema can be avoided by elevating the lower extremities. Dangling the patient’s legs and applying pillows may further compromise venous return.
29. A patient with advanced venous insufficiency is confined
following orthopedic surgery. How can the nurse best prevent skin
breakdown in the patient’s lower extremities?
A) Ensure that the patient’s heels are protected and supported.
B) Closely monitor the patient’s serum albumin and prealbumin levels.
C) Perform gentle massage of the patient’s lower legs, as tolerated.
D) Perform passive range-of-motion exercises once per shift.
If the patient is on bed rest, it is important to relieve pressure on the heels to prevent pressure ulcerations, since the heels are among the most vulnerable body regions. Monitoring blood work does not directly prevent skin breakdown, even though albumin is related to wound healing. Massage is not normally indicated and may exacerbate skin breakdown. Passive range- of-motion exercises do not directly reduce the risk of skin breakdown.
30. The nurse has performed a thorough nursing assessment of the care
of a patient with chronic leg ulcers. The nurse’s assessment should
include which of the following components? Select all that
A) Location and type of pain
B) Apical heart rate
C) Bilateral comparison of peripheral pulses
D) Comparison of temperature in the patient’s legs
E) Identification of mobility limitations
Ans: A, C, D, E
A careful nursing history and assessment are important. The extent and type of pain are carefully assessed, as are the appearance and temperature of the skin of both legs. The quality of all peripheral pulses is assessed, and the pulses in both legs are compared. Any limitation of mobility and activity that results from vascular insufficiency is identified. Not likely is there any direct indication for assessment of apical heart rate, although peripheral pulses must be assessed.
31. A nurse on a medical unit is caring for a patient who has been
diagnosed with lymphangitis. When reviewing this patient’s medication
administration record, the nurse should anticipate which of the
A) Coumadin (warfarin)
B) Lasix (furosemide)
C) An antibiotic
D) An antiplatelet aggregator
Lymphangitis is an acute inflammation of the lymphatic channels caused by an infectious process. Antibiotics are always a component of treatment. Diuretics are of nominal use. Anticoagulants and antiplatelet aggregators are not indicated in this form of infection.
32. A postsurgical patient has illuminated her call light to inform
the nurse of a sudden onset of lower leg pain. On inspection, the
nurse observes that the patient’s left leg is visibly swollen and
reddened. What is the nurse’s most appropriate action?
A) Administer a PRN dose of subcutaneous heparin.
B) Inform the physician that the patient has signs and symptoms of VTE.
C) Mobilize the patient promptly to dislodge any thrombi in the patient’s lower leg.
D) Massage the patient’s lower leg to temporarily restore venous return.
VTE requires prompt medical follow-up. Heparin will not dissolve an established clot. Massaging the patient’s leg and mobilizing the patient would be contraindicated because they would dislodge the clot, possibly resulting in a pulmonary embolism.
33. A nurse is closely monitoring a patient who has recently been
diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm. What assessment finding
would signal an impending rupture of the patient’s aneurysm?
A) Sudden increase in blood pressure and a decrease in heart rate
B) Cessation of pulsating in an aneurysm that has previously been pulsating visibly
C) Sudden onset of severe back or abdominal pain
D) New onset of hemoptysis
Signs of impending rupture include severe back or abdominal pain, which may be persistent or intermittent. Impending rupture is not typically signaled by increased blood pressure, bradycardia, cessation of pulsing, or hemoptysis.
34. A nurse is reviewing the physiological factors that affect a
patient’s cardiovascular health and tissue oxygenation. What is the
systemic arteriovenous oxygen difference?
A) The average amount of oxygen removed by each organ in the body
B) The amount of oxygen removed from the blood by the heart
C) The amount of oxygen returning to the lungs via the pulmonary artery
D) The amount of oxygen in aortic blood minus the amount of oxygen in the vena caval blood
The average amount of oxygen removed collectively by all of the body tissues is about 25%. This means that the blood in the vena cava contains about 25% less oxygen than aortic blood. This is known as the systemic arteriovenous oxygen difference. The other answers do not apply.
35. The nurse is evaluating a patient’s diagnosis of arterial
insufficiency with reference to the adequacy of the patient’s blood
flow. On what physiological variables does adequate blood flow depend?
Select all that apply.
A) Efficiency of heart as a pump
B) Adequacy of circulating blood volume
C) Ratio of platelets to red blood cells
D) Size of red blood cells
E) Patency and responsiveness of the blood vessels
Ans: A, B, E
Adequate blood flow depends on the efficiency of the heart as a pump, the patency and responsiveness of the blood vessels, and the adequacy of circulating blood volume. Adequacy of blood flow does not primarily depend on the size of red cells or their ratio to the number of platelets.
36. A nurse is assessing a new patient who is diagnosed with PAD. The
nurse cannot feel the pulse in the patient’s left foot. How should the
nurse proceed with assessment?
A) Have the primary care provider order a CT.
B) Apply a tourniquet for 3 to 5 minutes and then reassess.
C) Elevate the extremity and attempt to palpate the pulses.
D) Use Doppler ultrasound to identify the pulses.
When pulses cannot be reliably palpated, a hand-held continuous wave (CW) Doppler ultrasound device may be used to hear (insonate) the blood flow in vessels. CT is not normally warranted and the application of a tourniquet poses health risks and will not aid assessment. Elevating the extremity would make palpation more difficult.
37. A medical nurse has admitted four patients over the course of a
12-hour shift. For which patient would assessment of ankle-brachial
index (ABI) be most clearly warranted?
A) A patient who has peripheral edema secondary to chronic heart failure
B) An older adult patient who has a diagnosis of unstable angina
C) A patient with poorly controlled type 1 diabetes who is a smoker
D) A patient who has community-acquired pneumonia and a history of COPD
Nurses should perform a baseline ABI on any patient with decreased pulses or any patient 50 years of age or older with a history of diabetes or smoking. The other answers do not apply.
38. An older adult patient has been treated for a venous ulcer and a
plan is in place to prevent the occurrence of future ulcers. What
should the nurse include in this plan?
A) Use of supplementary oxygen to aid tissue oxygenation
B) Daily use of normal saline compresses on the lower limbs
C) Daily administration of prophylactic antibiotics
D) A high-protein diet that is rich in vitamins
A diet that is high in protein, vitamins C and A, iron, and zinc is encouraged to promote healing and prevent future ulcers. Prophylactic antibiotics and saline compresses are not used to prevent ulcers. Oxygen supplementation does not prevent ulcer formation.
39. A 79-year-old man is admitted to the medical unit with digital
gangrene. The man states that his problems first began when he stubbed
his toe going to the bathroom in the dark. In addition to this trauma,
the nurse should suspect that the patient has a history of what health
A) Raynaud’s phenomenon
C) Arterial insufficiency
D) Varicose veins
Arterial insufficiency may result in gangrene of the toe (digital gangrene), which usually is caused by trauma. The toe is stubbed and then turns black. Raynaud’s, CAD and varicose veins are not the usual causes of digital gangrene in the elderly.
40. When assessing venous disease in a patient’s lower extremities,
the nurse knows that what test will most likely be ordered?
A) Duplex ultrasonography
C) Positron emission tomography (PET)
Duplex ultrasound may be used to determine the level and extent of venous disease as well as its chronicity. Radiographs (x-rays), PET scanning, and echocardiography are never used for this purpose as they do not allow visualization of blood flow.