15 Dec 0
PT/INR Machines at Home
More people are starting to see the benefits of using a PT INR Machine to self test at home. Monitoring and testing in this way has many plus sides; it is fast, convenient, and reliable. Tests can be carried out at home rather than having to visit a clinic, hospital, or doctor’s office, while ensuring health and saving time. Another considerable benefit for patients is that they can perform the test anywhere – they can check their blood at work, while visiting friends and family, while on vacation, and any other situation as long as they carry their PT INR Machine.
Regular blood testing, called a prothrombin time test (often shortened to PT), is essential for patients who are taking the anticoagulant medication warfarin. The test displays the International Normalized Ration result, often abbreviated to INR. If the INR is too low there is a high risk of blood clotting, and if it is too high there is a risk of bleeding.
Additional ways to be tested include laboratory blood tests whereby a doctor or nurse sends a sample to a lab to be tested. Results can take anywhere between a couple of hours to a couple of days to receive. Healthcare professionals may also perform a finger prick test for an almost instant result, whereby a small sample is used in conjunction with what is called a POC device (Point of Care).
When testing at home using a PT INR Machine, patients can easily inform their doctor of the results. Some patients choose to do so by telephone, others use the internet. The healthcare professional can consequently use the test results to decide the correct dosage of warfarin and advise the patient accordingly. Building from this, patients can also be taught how to adjust their own warfarin levels based on their blood test results, making life even easier for the patient. It also gives people a certain independence and responsibility for their own well being. This form of medication management is gaining popularity in European countries, and is beginning to find traction in North America.
It must be remembered that some patients do not like to take responsibility for their health care – they may lack confidence in themselves and feel more reassured with high levels of contact with a doctor or nurse. Patients’ views, confidence, and comfort must be taken into account before giving patients a PT INR Machine to use at home.
Studies indicate that when patients use the test at home they have better management of their condition and medication. There appear to be fewer complications, and this could be due to more frequent testing.
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