Thought I'd check my Warfarin level. Used my Coaguchek machine (I am experienced as I've been using it for 2 years) I have had one of those silly days ,it took me 3 error messages -all my own fault - and I only got it right on the 4th time. So I'm sitting here with 4 bloody fingers and broke as I've wasted 4 test strips. To add insult to definite injury I'm out of range at 1.8 !!!


19 Replies

  • They're not that easy to use. I have to play the video every time or I get it wrong. And I simply cannot get the finger-pricker to do anything. I have to stab it manually and it hurts.

    At least you know you need to do something though, money well spent even if more than you anticipated!


  • As you say ,money well spent. I wouldn't like to be without it,very reassuring even if I made such a hash of it today.

    I wonder if your "finger pricker" is ok ,I have one that works properly and one that doesn't ,so maybe yours is faulty as well.


  • Yes I was wondering that. I'll check it next time.


  • Make sure you set it on 5

  • Ahha, I had it on 3. I'll try 5. Cheers Peter

  • Hi Koll, I got a Stanley knife and trimmed off the little raised part on the end of the cap, on the finger pricker. This lets the lancet go a bit deeper and should make it a bit easier to get blood out. See my answer to Fi, a bit lower down, about not pricking the end of your finger.


  • Kill, you may well have afaulty finger pricker. I did. and had it replaced. I even had afaulty machine and had to get that replaced as well! I was beginning to wonder whether it was worthwhile getting at all. I have to have the device at no 5 and aim for the side of the finger and let the blood drip onto the top side of the strip. It does take a bit of practice and very annoying when you waste a strip! Sandra

  • Hi Sandra

    That's interesting.Last year I was getting very different readings to the results from the surgery e.g I had a reading of 5.3 so I went to the surgery to check there and I was 2.2 . I contacted Roche and said that either the machine was faulty or as I had new strips they could be faulty.Roche replaced both after several phone calls .They did say that they hadn't had to replace any before because they don't go wrong and they said that they tested the machine and strips and there was nothing wrong with them - well they would say that wouldn't they?

    So if you had to return yours as well that makes at least 2 of us . Anybody else out there that has had to replace machines or strips?

    I'm not moaning because I think the machine is brilliant - just why can't companies be honest and say if things are incorrect.


  • Hi Fi ....well I have to admit that they did take quite a while to replace my machine as it had to be sent away for testing. They did admit that it was faulty and sent me a further good supply of testing strips to make up for those that were wasted! All OK now! Sandra. PS. I have to have my wits about me when testing do need a steady hand when applying the blood to strip

  • I should of said that they did replace the machine together with a pot of 24 strips. I do think it was probably the strips that were faulty as every time I tested there were wildly differing results .


  • I feel for you, feejbee. I thought the finger stab was the most painful bit of giving blood and of having an ablation. And the pain can go on for days sometimes if you just knock the finger. And then to be out of pocket - and out of range! Some serious treat deserved.

  • Absolutely.

    The chilled glass of wine is about to arrive,I'm trying to hang on until 6 -just for the sake of decency.

    Your right the fingers can hurt for ages after a stabbing.


  • A glass of chilled wine is perfect.

  • It was.All better now!

  • Hi Fi, when I first got my CoaguChek, about 13 years ago, my son, who is diabetic, told me not to prick the end of my finger or it would be very painful. He told me to prick the side of the finger, just round off the tip. The tips of your fingers are very sensitive, hence we use the tips to feel things. I have started puting a band round my arm, the same as nurses do when taking a blood sample. That causes the pressure in the veins to increase and makes it easier to get blood. The other thing,of course is to make sure the hands are warm. I do still get the occasional error but that is usually when, like you, my INR is down around 2.0


  • Will try the side of the finger tip next time.Thanks for the info.


  • Hello everyone, I’ve been around for a while now soaking up all the information that all of you have so freely given (so I’m not a newbie but this is the first time I’ve posted). I’d like to thank everyone. You’ve helped me get through my TIA and two ablations among other things. Now I’d like to give a pay-back with (hopefully) some useable Information.

    I test with a CoaguChek and am extremely happy with it. It certainly gives me a sense of freedom – although I must say I do cringe when I read that someone says they have to watch what they eat while on Coumadin. As it has been said many times on this forum – you set the dosage to your lifestyle and not the other way around. I know I certainly wouldn’t want to give up my broccoli, parsley or avocados just because of the vitamin K, think of all the other magnificent vitamins and minerals you would be passing up, too. Just sayin’. Anyway, back to the CoaguChek…

    The finger-pricker has different levels of prick-deepness (or at least mine does). I have mine set to 3 which is right in the middle. WHERE you prick your finger is important as to IF it hurts or not. Try pricking it on the top, near your fingernail, the further down and towards the middle of your fingerprint you get the more it will smart. Once you prick your finger the blood might not flow (if your hands are cold or your prick not deep enough) it might help to ‘milk’ your finger a bit. Once you’ve got a blob of blood balancing on your fingertip pick up your CoaguChek and scrape the blood onto the strip (trying to drop the blood onto the strip works sometimes but scraping always works!) I usually scrape holding the CoaguChek between me and my finger, tipping my finger just a bit to let the gravity help drop the blood onto the strip. Put the CoaguChek back on a flat table and wait for the results. This is how I do it and I don’t remember the last time I wasted a strip.

    I hope this helps, good luck – and thanks again to everyone! Time for me to slip back into the background again maybe with a glass of wine, that does sound good…

  • Thanks for the sound advice. It was because I dropped the blood as opposed to scrape that it didn't take properly. Why I did it like that I don't know, as I said STUPID.I do know better -very cross with myself. I even always set the picker at 5 so I have plenty of blood to play with and still I messed up.


  • good job you tested then!! I sometimes did that (on Apixaban now) but normally if my fingers weren't warmed up enough??

You may also like...