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I have been self testing now for one year. When I first went on to self testing, I went to the hospital where they compared my coaguchek reading with a venous sample. I have not been asked to come back since for a hospital check or to see a warfarin nurse.

I have a vague memory that they mentioned that I would be invited to come back every 6 months or year for a check up, but I have not been contacted. At the moment I call in my INR to an answer machine, and I get called back with my dose. I will ask next week if I need to have a hospital check, but in the meantime thought I would ask how often other self testers have a hospital test.

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Hi Madeleine

It was never mentioned to me about hospital checking my INR - I go to my Dr's surgery every 4 weeks and they take blood, send it away and I get the result the next day (I'm approx 10months post Op). I have been using the Coaguchek since my Op ( test every week) and then once every 4 weeks compare the Coaguchek Vs my surgery's result (the coaguechek is approx 0.4 higher).

I suggest you contact your Dr and discuss it with them - I'm very happy with my Coaguchek and it has always delivered values close to the Venous sample but I would think it is a good idea to get a few 'correlation' results from Venous samples to confirm that both test methods are similar/correlated. Your Dr should be able to get advice on this.

Best regards

Martina

Hi Madeleine;

 I have been self testing for several years,once I got the meter delivered and a Rep.to discuss how to use it and etc .nothing was ever said about going back to the hospital lab. I also do as you,call in my results and get a call back from the "Coumadin Clinic" . I asked my Cardiologist for a prescription to have an INR draw at the hospital , they made a copy for my file , I also made a few copies and carry one in my vehicle and one in my purse .  I can use it in any state  etc. I do a draw at the hospital about every three months or if I just happen to be there I use the lab .  The clinic tried to tell me I didn't need to check but once a month, I told them I will be checking weekly or more if I felt it was needed also told me I couldn't tell when my blood was thick or thin == oh yes I can ,Dr. said do as you think , I said if I was an inpatient they would check every day same as a nursing home .  He just shook his head , I have been on coumadin over 39 years , and I check more often than I did at the beginning .  Would be good to have a prescription on file in case the meter became faulty etc wouldn't have to find the DR. for an o.k. 

 Best Regards

 Anne Jones 

Madeleine - I have been self testing for 14 months now and call in my results to my local hospital anticoagulation clinic. I have never been called back for a venous blood test by the clinic or my GP so wouldn't worry about it. Like you I had to compare my Coaguchek machine with the clinics results at the outset - but they used their Coaguchek machine rather than a venous sample. Needless to say the results were the same.

I presume you are calling your results in - so you can always ask the clinic next time you call in your results if you are concerned.

Regards

John
Madeleine - my hospital is now supporting me on self testing even though they do don't like it. I self test and self manage, my INR is pretty stable, and increase/reduction of 0.25mg is all it takes for me.

I have agreed that I will have a venous test every 2 months, just to play safe. This works well for, but last year when I was away from the UK I went without venous tests for 9 months, with no problems. I like the 2 month check, as it is good to check that there is nothing wrong. If I had a very high or low reading I would get a venous test the same day.

I don't think there is any fixed and fast rule for this, but I would have thought a venous test every few months would be a good checkpoint.
I spoke to the clinic, and their protocol is for a check every six months. So I shall go to the clinic in a few weeks when my next test is due. The nurse did say that since coaguchek has a built in quality control, lab testing is less necessary, but that they still prefer to see patients occasionally. I'm not sure why I was forgotten!

Madeleine, my hospital will not formally support Coaguchek at all!  I was abroad for 9 months last year, and had no problems, so the specialist nurses have agreed to let me carry on, and we agreed on 2 months.  The problem is that the NHS is so disfunctional, my hospital does not want to loose the revenue from venous testing, so they go after the money, rather than worry about the patient's wishes.  But of course in many other respects the NHS is wonderful!

Salut Madeleine!

Good question; although frowned upon in France, I carry out self testing once a week at the moment (8 months post operation), I also go to the laboratory for venous sample check once a month. Although this may be considered as a bit belt and braces - this way of checking my INR has allowed me to have confidence in my Coagucheck self test results and to fine tune my medicine to arrive a now satisfactory INR. I discuss my INR with my GP once a month, my GP is now happy to allow me to tune my medicine in line with the self test results.

Good luck Kevin

It's great that we can compare notes on this site as it clearly shows the differences of opinions on INR testing across the various health authorities and hospitals.

My hospital anticoagulation clinic doesn't use venous blood sampling even if you attend the clinic in person as they use the professional version of the Coagucheck machine for all their tests. So clearly they trust in the results that the machines provide.

John - you are absolutely correct on all counts.  I wish this website existed (or I knew about it!) 8 years ago when my MHV was implanted.  Luckily I friend's father had had one, and he was very helpful on the telephone.

 

As to the NHS - sometimes I wonder why they exist - they are either wonderful (actually most of the time in my experience) but sometimes completely mad.  The PM (and leaving out politics) has actually said he thinks self testing is the way forward in a modernized NHS, but the trusts sometimes seem to be more interested in themselves rather than their patients.  Surely if we want to self test we should be allowed to do so - the days of doctor knows best is long gone.

 

My GP has just checked on the prices - a test strip costs the NHS £0.66p and a venous sample is charged at £80 - the financial argument is obvious, the clinical outcome is proven - so why do many trusts refuse?  Simple they would loose the income!

I went to the clinic and my coaguchek read 2.7 and the clinic's coaguchek read 2.6.

Since the two results were within 0.3 of each other I didn't need a venous check, so all well and good. I was in and out within 20 minutes. I don't mind going in for occasional checks, but am so pleased it's not a regular occurrence.

Hi Madeleine

Good news, now you can rest easy knowing your kit is very well correlated to the clinics.

Best regards

Martina

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