The Easy Way of Checking Your INR Result

I'm on long-term Warfarin tablets, an anticoagulant which thins the blood, so I've minimised the risk of getting another blood clot and a stroke.

You have to go to the Phlebotomist (who collect a blood sample) every few weeks (normally 1 to 4 weeks) to take a sample of blood, send it to the laboratories, examine it, find out the result (the INR reading) and, if applicable, adjust the dosage of the Warfarin and then call the person who takes Warfarin with the correct dosage.

I was having to go to the doctor's surgery, take a number (there was no appointments, just a ticketed number order), wait in the waiting room for up to 1 hour, and then when my number was called I would go into a room with the Phlebotomist, take some blood, and then that's it.

CoaguChekI was doing this routine for about 20 months. I found a leaflet in the doctor's waiting room about a CoaguChek - an easy way to check the blood at home - no more waiting around - and it only took minutes to do (image to the right)!!

So I purchased the CoaguChek system. In the box there was the CoaguChek, the CoaguChek Softclix lancing device and a manual, and I got the test strips on prescription.

As I've only got one functional hand, to start with it was a bit tricky because I had to lance my finger for some blood, using only one hand. But I got the hang of it, and after a few weeks it was really easy to use.

So I put some blood onto a test strip, and in about 1 minute, my INR result is shown on the screen. Then all I have to do is call the doctor's, then if applicable, adjust the dosage, and then it's done - all in all it's about 5 minutes to do.

This article by Chris Banting was posted in: Medication.

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