Monitoring Anticoagulation at Home

Monitoring Anticoagulation at Home

Are there any options for do-it-yourself monitoring?

While most people on warfarin or Coumadin® go to an anticoagulation clinic to monitor and test their blood’s clotting time, some people are able to do their own testing and monitoring from home. People who do so may feel a greater sense of control and ability to take part in managing their own care. This option is especially valuable for people who maintain a full schedule, enjoy traveling, or have other reasons that make it difficult to get to the clinic. The need for testing and monitoring at home only applies to people taking warfarin or Coumadin® for stroke risk reduction using anticoagulation medication; NOACs do not require testing.

Who is a good candidate for at-home anticoagulation monitoring?

If you have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and have been taking warfarin or Coumadin® for at least 90 days, you may be eligible to begin testing your INR or clotting time (also called Prothrombin time) from home. If you’re interested and willing to manage your part of the process, your healthcare provider can submit a request to authorize you to complete your testing and monitoring requirements from home. From there, you’ll work with your insurance provider or national healthcare benefits program to arrange for any necessary payments and connect you with a monitoring company that will provide the equipment and teach you the steps for timely and accurate measurement.

What is the process for at-home monitoring?

Most medical coverage options allow for weekly or bi-weekly testing, and the testing must usually be communicated back to the monitoring company who then communicates it to your doctor so that you can maintain a prescription for your medication. The monitoring company will alert your healthcare provider if results of your blood clotting time are out-of-range so your doctor can promptly adjust your dosage. This regular communication also allows the monitoring company to track your usage and send additional supplies when your usage data indicates you should be running low, which will save you time and energy.

People who monitor at home will likely want to create a convenient place for storing supplies, testing, and reporting results. During training, your monitoring company may help you work out a system to remind yourself when it’s time to test.

We encourage you to talk about your experience and share tips and insights with other users at our online forum.

Learn more about clot times, lab testing, and what your ratio means by visiting our Anticoagulation Lab section of AFib Town.

Recent Discussions From The At Home Forum
Patio7 avatar

Anybody else have an issue?  I received my second Pfiser shot yesterday morning. First off..I am so grateful and would sign up for a third if needed....however by late afternoon I was in Afib, after having none for over a month..and none that lasted more than a short time for seven months. Well here I am 18 hrs later still in Afib. Also had a night of aches, low grade fever and very sore arm.  All acceptable except the Afib, which has been all over the map high as 177 but feels unlike past episodes.   Was scheduled for an ECG and pacemaker check tooday but think I will be postponed because of Covid  check before entering the building.  Anybody have any thoughts?

Thumper2 avatar

It's March 1, and I have not received any Daily Digest for the last 3 days.  Is there some reason for this?  I have been a participating member for several years. 

Thumper2 (Judy)

depotdoug avatar

Good afternoon AFIB support friends,

Life's next medical challenge awaits Depotdoug this nex Monday @ 1:00PM. I receive a new RA pacing lead inserted down to my right Atria. So, my 9yr 10 mon old St Jude Med Durata pacing lead was identified with noise the past year, with an incresing threshold of chronic noise. Discussion this Monday with my 5th yes 5th EP doctor went through the procedure protocol, sounds easy enough, with the caveat of NOT extracting my 'old' fractured, aging pacing lead. Ok, the terminology they use for that procedure is Debulking. Sounds mechanical. 

But the procedure of extracting(laser) old embedded pacing or defirillating leads can be invasive and cause more damage than leaving lead intact. Ok, my question is? Will my old lead interfere with or get in the way of my new RA lead in any way?

Anybody here ever had a RA pacing lead revision and or extraction?



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