CoaguChek – Anticoagulant Self-Monitoring Test Kit
An estimated 1 million people in the UK take the anticoagulant medication warfarin. It reduces the risk of potentially seriously conditions such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, heart attack and stroke. It works by slowing the rate at which blood clots.
But its use involves careful monitoring, which has traditionally involved attending an NHS anticoagulant clinic weekly or monthly to test how quickly the blood is clotting. From there, a decision is taken on whether the warfarin dose needs adjusting.
A self-monitoring device, CoaguChek, which involves a finger-prick blood test is available from Ashtons. This test can be done by healthcare staff or the patients themselves (similar to diabetic blood sugar monitoring). Self-testing would have to be done in association with the anticoagulant clinic, but offers many advantages for inpatients.
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