Living with a Mechanical Heart Valve: Click.Tick.Thump. Love It!

Support Group for Mechanical & Artificial Heart Valve Surgery & Using Warfarin

Anyone had any experience of this INR replacement? My local hospital; The Royal Berkshire, does not support it. This good for me as I travel extensively to places that don't offer INR.

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Thanks Allison,

I have requested an info pack and have a good look through once I recieve it. Thanks again,


Hi Neil,

I'm lucky as my dosage has been stable for weeks now. So, my nurse is happy for me to remain on the same dosage if my INR with the CoaguChek XS is >2.5 and less than <3.5 (equivalent to 2.0 to 3.0 with my Drs test method). If not then I call in and discuss and perhaps get them to do the INR testing but so far all good.

Best regards


Hello Martina,

That sounds great. Early days for me but certainly hope to go down this route! |How are you doing?

Hi Neil, I'm doing really good. Will be back to work full time on Monday. Still not 100% as yet, a few aches and pains especially in my back and the chest wound but then all understandable post such a Op. Full recovery can take some time and it's only been approx 3 months since my Op.

Best regards


Neil - I use the Coaguchek XS machine and self test - not self dose.  The clinic tells you when to call in your results but if you want to check yourself prior to that you can.  I test once a week but only dial in the results if it is the week I am due to report or if I have gone outside my range (3.0 - 4.0) for a dose update.

I have remained pretty stable since February on 10mg daily.  INR does change week by week but has been in the range.

I am on holiday this week in Guernsey and was able to test my blood while I am away - as this was my week to report in.

I wouldn't go back to visiting the clinic to get my results if you paid me - the freedom you get with self testing is excellent.

You need to get your Dr or clinic to agree to self testing and then they calibrate your machine against theirs. your GP can also give you a prescription for the test strips - they are very expensive without the prescription so that is a must. 

Hello John,

Thanks for the info. It definitaley sounds like the way to go although I realise that I have to get my INR stable first.

I'm currently on 8mg daily but haven't been on it long enough to assume that the INR is stable. Thanks for the advice.

Hope your having a great holiday. Best wishes,


Hello Allison,

I have seen my GP and he has agreed to prescribe the test strips/lancets for self testing, very pleased about this. He did say that he would need some details of the make and model etc.. so they can order in the correct items. So what do I do now? Just order the unit on line? Will I receive technical details about the type of test strips ans lancets I need?

Hope you can help. Speak soon,


Allison Rossiter said:

Dear Neil,


There are two models of care: Self testing and self managing.

Self testing is where you test your blood and contact (call/visit/text/email) your Dr/nurse with the result and they advise you if you need to alter your warfarin.

Self managing is where you test your blood yourself and alter your own dose of warfarin depending onthe result.

Of course both require some training and agreement with your Dr/nurse.

Hope this helps.

Best regrads, Allison


Dear Neil,
You can either order the CoaguChek on line or via our free phone care line 0808 100 7666.
We have several purchasing options for you to consider - you can use a credit/debit card or paypal on line or if you call the free phone number you can use debit/credit card or we also have an interest free credit option to spread the cost over 12 or 24 months.
You will receive the meter, 6 strips to get started, a finger pricker and some lancets, along with a training DVD (you can also view the training video on the website).
Your GP should be able to locate the strips to prescribe via his computer system, if not please advise him that you have the CoaguChek XS, strips are available in two pack sizes - 24 and 48. Depending on your test frequency, will determine the most appropriate prescription for you.
He will also prescribe you the lancets. Lancets come in two widths, white are smaller and yellow allow a bigger sample of blood to be produced, Therefore we recommend adults use yellow, unless you have very soft skin.
You will be able to try them for yourself and then decide what is best for you as you get some yellow lancets as part of the kit. If necessary I can provide numbers so your GP prescribes the correct ones.
Good luck, I am sure that you will find the meter easy to use and I look forward to hearing how you are getting along. Should you have any queries once your meter arrives, please d o not hesitate to call the free phone line, they will be happy to help.
Best wishes, Allison

Please excuse my ignorance but post op does everyone get precribed warfarin, are you then on it for life, and how often do you need to get your blood tested?
Thank you

Hello Gary,

If you have a mechanical valve then you'll be on warfarin for life. Blood tests depend on how stable your INR results are. You'll probably have 1-2 a week (after hospital) and then once a fortnight etc.. when values are stable. Hope thats helps?


Cheers Neil

Neil Buckland said:

Hello Gary,

If you have a mechanical valve then you'll be on warfarin for life. Blood tests depend on how stable your INR results are. You'll probably have 1-2 a week (after hospital) and then once a fortnight etc.. when values are stable. Hope thats helps?


Hello to all. I reside in Hermosillo, Mexico.  I have a St Judge aortic valve since February of 2010. I am 46.  I am taking Sintrom (anticoagulant) every day. At first, I would go to the hospital' lab to check my INR.  Then, a few months ago, my cardiologist (who obtained his training in Spain) offered to purchase the Coagucheck device for me during one of his frequent trips to seminars and the like.  I accepted and have been using it ever since.  Before I started using it, though, I compared its results against those of the lab, and they were the same.  It is very convenient to have and to use, especially when one has to travel frequently due to work or similar reasons. My cardiologist has explained to me that the Coagucheck device is used in many hospitals, including European ones, as it is a reliable, accurate device. The reason why some hospitals in Europe do not "approve" it, has nothing to do, he said, with its accuracy or not, but instead with financial considerations that pertain to insurance coverage and issues of that nature.  I hope these remarks can help you make the right decision for you, Colin.

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