If you are a patient on Coumadin it's critical to have your PT/INR regularly tested. Historically patients have had to go to the doctor's office to have this test done, but now because of new technology, more reasonable prices and insurance reimbursement patients can monitor their PT/INR at home.
PT/INR self testing now allows you to measure your blood's anti-coagulation level (how long it takes your blood to clot), more often and more easily, from your home. If you keep your PT/INR within a safe range it helps you to avoid serious complications such as bleeding and stroke. Under normal circumstances, you may have been getting your PT/INR checked at your doctor's office, lab or clinic once every four to six weeks. Studies show that more frequent testing can help you reduce serious risks to your health.
Here are some of the advantaged of performing PT/INR self testing at home.
* Since 2008, Medicare has approved PT/INR self testing for patients taking Coumadin (warfarin) and who have mechanical heart valves, chronic atrial fibrillation or venous thrombosis, which includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism. Most health insurance companies have also approved reimbursement for self-testing.
* When you report abnormal results immediately to the doctor, medication adjustments can be made sooner to help prevent complications from arising if the person is out of range for a period of time.
* Published studies show that there are fewer complications, less risks, and less ER visits when self-testing is done on a weekly basis.
* There is a reduction in time spent traveling to and from the doctor's office/laboratory/clinic becasue testing can be done at home. Self-testing is particularly suitable for patients when traveling, and for those who must frequently be away from their regular doctor. Actually, PT/INR Self Testing has been known to save the average person as many as four days in personal time each year.
* Testing takes place at a time and place that's best for the patient. There is no need to miss work, school or other activities due to scheduled testing appointments with the doctor or lab.
* People who self test weekly are more involved with their personal healthcare and can better keep track of their PT/INR anticoagulation levels.
* People who take anticoagulants daily enjoy more “peace of mind” understanding that emergencies can be prevented and their health is being monitored more frequently.
One of the best self testing monitors on the market is the INRatio Monitor. It is simple to use and has a proven level of accuracy. INRatio test strips come with built in controls to insure proper usage. The INRatio monitor and INRatio strips are affordable, portable and easy to use.