I have AF and have been on Warfarin for about 3years I previously lived in the Swindon area, and attended the anti coagulant clinic at the Great Western Hospital, I went to New Zealand for 3 months, I was advised to buy a Coaguchek meter, this I did, and have self tested for 3 years, I was able to obtain test strips on prescription, I have since moved to Yeovil, and was able to obtain strips, recently I have been informed by my practice manager that I would not be prescribed strips, the manager has stated that she does not approve of self testing and she had no knowledge of how the meter worked. I recently had an appointment to have a hernia repair, I was told not to take Warfarin for 5 days, I self tested each day to get my INR down to 0.5, my operation was cancelled at the last moment, it then took 6 days ti get my INR back in range, taking 6mg warfarin each day, I tested daily a total of 11 tests, saving the surgery, and me a lot of time. I am due to return to hospital in 5 days time, and self test each day to check that my INR is low enough for the hernia repair to be carried out, my wife also has AF and she also self tests, we are both aware that we are saving the NHS a lot of time and money, but will now be obliged to buy strips from Roche, Perhaps we could have a BOOB JOB for free?

3 Replies

  • Hi Stentsx2.

    Don't despair the world is changing. There have been many CCGs and GPs who have resisted the self testing approach to controlling INR but the benefits are obvious to you, I and many other patients like us. That is why NICE spent many months exploring the issue and earlier this month published new guidelines to the medical world. See . Basically, for patients with A/F and prosthetic heart valves they have found that self testing and self managing in particular is cost effective to the NHS, reduces clotting problems by 50% more that those tested in the system and reduces fatalities by 30%. They are recommending it as a benefit to all concerned and this should be adopted by NHS in due course. CCGs and GPs should all eventually (once funding budgets are provided) be prescribing not only the strips but also the machines.

    Why not copy the new Guidelines and take it to your practice manager. He/She might learn something and change their view if they are a professional.

    All the best and do let us know how you get on as there are many more in the same situation as you today.

  • Hi I have a coagucheck machine it has I am sure saved me from having more health problems, were you covered by Clexane, heparin for your op

  • There is some great mystique about self-testing/management that the medical profession don't want to share! I'm convinced of it. When my wife and I moved from Dorset to Nottinghamshire, it was suggested I needed to go on a residential course (in BIRMINGHAM!) to learn how to use a coagulometer, despite the fact that I was partially paralyzed by a stroke!! Aside from the initial setting up of, say the CoaguChek meter (Roche actually supply a DVD with these details in addition to a written guide), there is very little else to do other than put in a re-agent strip and offer it a blood sample. So I guess somewhere along the line £££ are the issue. We save the NHS a fortune, like yourself. My wife is my carer and we have very little contact with the doctors/hospital save for requesting essential prescriptions from time-to-time. We both paid into the NHS for over forty years through our combined National Insurance contributions etc as an insurance for our old age - only to be told now: "Oh! That was all spent years ago......" I am truly sorry to hear of your experiences, StentsX2. I take on board the comments made by Peter Birt (above) - but somehow I seem to have heard them all before over a period of years and nothing has come of them as yet - in fact, the situation appears to have worsened.

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