CoaguChekŪ systems are easy to use
Several medical conditions such as mechanical heart valve replacement, atrial fibrillation and some other diseases with potential risk of blood clot formation require long-term, sometimes even life-long, intake of specific drugs ("blood thinners"), called coumarin derivatives or Vitamin K antagonists. They are used to "thin" the blood, in order to reduce the odds of complications such as stroke or pulmonary embolism.
Each individual reacts differently to these drugs, and there are several potential interferences (diet, other drugs, stress, alcohol, etc). It is therefore necessary to have a close monitoring of the drug effects on each individual's blood coagulabilty. The blood test needed is called Prothrombin Time (PT) and International Normalised Ratio (INR). They require a venous blood sampling and several visits to the laboratory, the doctor's or to the Thrombosis Centre, especially when initiating the treatment. Here the test frequency is quite high. This leads to a change of life style in time and independence, which could be avoided by using the alternative: Coagulation Self-Monitoring.
An alternative is the Coagulation Self-Monitoring, using a small, easy to use yet safe device such as the CoaguChek XS system from Roche Diagnostics. The CoaguChek systems are convenient, portable and user-friendly systems that enable you to monitor your coagulation (PT/INR) status at home usually upon a prescription from your treating healthcare professional. This reduces the time that you spend in hospitals, general practices or at anticoagulation clinics, allowing you more independence, freedom and an improved quality of life. Self-Monitoring with the CoaguChek system means that anticoagulant therapy can be constantly optimised, which decreases the possibility of potential bleeding or clotting complications.