Atrial Fibrilation in Australia

I have had AF since 1996 and have used Warfarin (Coumadin) for the same amount of time. I live in Queensland Australia and we have an organization called QML control. (Queensland Medical Laboratories.) My GP issues a request to QML and they take over from the GP. So no more GP visits. QML has their own doctors qualified in dealing with warfarin. They check the test results and tell you how much warfarin to take and tells you when to have your next blood test done. (I call the people doing the testing blood suckers.) Ha ha. QML telephones or e-mails or text the result and tells you the next date and how much you are to take until the next test. QML has testing sites throughout Queensland and you can go to these if you are, for example, on holidays in another place. I see posts from people who want to know the answers to questions from their GP and seem not happy with that answer. QML has information telling you that the safe level is between 2 - 3. This is depending on why you are taking Warfarin. I am AF so my safe level is to be between 2-3. Full stop. If I get close to 3 they are instructing me to reduce the number of mg to take until it is back to where they want it to be. For 19 years this has worked well for me. BUT 3-weeks ago I was taken from a motel - while on holiday by ambulance to hospital emergency. They found that my INR was 4.7; I had pneumonia; bleeding right lung and a 5cm blood lump in my right lung. Reason for the high INR???? No one seems to know. I have now been taken off warfarin by way of vit K injection and am waiting to have two thirds of my right lung removed. All being well I will be back on warfarin after the operation - so my cardiologist of 19 years tells me. Will I tinker with warfarin myself to feel better etc. Never! If you want answers to questions contact a blood testing laboratory or visit a cardiologist and get an answer which you can trust. Doctors (GPs) are generalist health people and too busy to bother (really) with INR levels and blood tests and the like. I am sure that what I said goes for the world! Remember the statistics. People on Warfarin survive for an average of 5 years. So do not push your luck by wanting to feel better! You may actually make things worse and your live span shorter. Good luck. Looking forward to your reply. Only sensible posts are answered.

23 Replies

  • i hope this is a slip- I think people on warfarin survive longer than 5 years!! Hope you feel better soon

  • As someone who's been taking Warfarin for 4 years, I hope it's a slip too :-(

  • Yeah. that goes for me too..

    If I've only got 5 years I'm going to start partying now.... Like tonight :-))) I've a very long bucket list and a very deep bucket.


  • He says he is on warfarin for 19 years , so he is gone way past the 5 year mark ,so enjoy your party , and your bucket list😁

  • Not sure if this is a sensible post :) In the US, I have a special office such as you describe which managed my warfarin. Liked it much better than having GP handle.

  • i have been on warfarin for 20 years, I wonder if this is me typing this post or a reincarnation!

  • Definitely a reincarnation😁

  • 😀

  • Is there any body there . is there any body there. Come to me lingooz. Nah waited for about 5 min not a sign of you😂

  • What's wrong with wanting to feel better? Isn't that the whole point?

  • Of course there are alternatives to Wafarin without all of the unpredictability of Wafarin.

  • There is a lot of unpredictability with these other blood thinning meds, also!

  • You could also say that of life?

  • You are a wise man/woman.

  • Is there anybody there? Knock once for yes. 10 years and counting. Still not sure this is a sensible post so don't expect an answer.


  • I also live in Australia, I wonder if they will change the warfarin and put you on rivaroxaban instead. I am in Victoria and an ex nurse and I am of the understanding all pathology services control the dose of warfarin not the GP. I hope you feel better very soon and your operation is a huge success.

  • I've been on warfarin since the year 2000 after my 1st pacemaker was implanted. I take my INR at home same day every week. After I phone in my results to Philips INR Service, they notify the cardiologist of the results. If I'm high or low my cardiologist will adjust my wararin amounts. I've had very good results this way. In the beginning my GP would take my INR and it would take about 3 days to get the results.

  • Where do you get your information to make you state that people on warfarin survive an average of 5 years. I say, BS. Prove it.

  • I think the best proof is my cardiologist who gets his infor from proven sources. I would be the last to argue with him.

  • reply 2. AF people ARE NOT THE ONLY PROPLE ON WARFARIN! for example, people all sorts of operations maybe from 4 days to AF on forever. Health professionals fill in warfarin surveys: was patient on warfarin: yes / no? how long for? all this affects average time survival! AF are the longest surviving. Hope you last as long as I do. I seem to be wasting my time on this forum. Over and out:-(

  • her123 ,you have had 19 years to come to terms with a fib and the pro and cons of taking warfarin,there are people joining the AF Association every day who know very little about a fib or warfarin and I dare say 19 years ago you knew little about it too, so what you may think is a silly statement , might not be to people who have just been diagnosed with a fib and trying to get there head around all the different types of medications . The people who have replied to your post must be the exception to the 5 year average . P.S. I wish you good health and all the best with your operation.

  • PEOPLE ON WARFARIN SURVIVE average 5 yrs. ????? Where did you hear that?, AND you said you been on it 19? 7

  • Normally I would not bother responding to this sort of statement except that I m very cognisant that there are many new people on this site recently and that they may read this post with extreme alarm, get over anxious and possibly stop Warfarin. BTW I am not medically qualified.

    I have done a lot of research and read very many articles over the last year since I was diagnosed. I also have an excellent memory especially for detail and information retention. Nowhere at all do I recall having seen anything remotely related to 5 years expectancy after someone is started on Warfarin. I have known many people who have been on it for much longer and there are many examples in these posts.

    I would suggest that you may have misheard the consultant or the consultant may have misheard your question or the "fact" may be taken completely out of context. For example it could relate to people who start taking Warfarin at 85 have a five year life expectancy. That could be true but equally where are the statistics / basis for people of the same age who are not on Warfarin???!!!

    If you believe this statement is true then you should be urgently be requesting a follow-up appointment to get questions answered and also to ask for the research evidence. If no evidence is forthcoming and no articles and the consultant still insists that 5 years is the case then I would seriously question the competency of the consultant in all areas!!!!

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