A patient is recovering from a total hip replacement. On the second day after surgery, the physician has ordered a lab test for hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. The patient asks the nurse why he needs these tests. Which response is correct?


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- You are at risk of bleeding because of your surgery and we need to monitor these blood levels.

- You probably have some internal bleeding that we need to check.

- You will most likely need a blood transfusion.

- Your leg is at risk of becoming ischemic and we need to check your oxygenation.


A patient who has had a total hip replacement may be at increased risk of bleeding; some patients with this type of surgery have had bleeding into the surgical area and the hip socket, causing complications and disability. The physician may order a hemoglobin and hematocrit level, as this test can indicate if there are changes in the blood levels of the body, such as with internal bleeding.

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