Home monitoring for coumadin. I have a mechanical heart valve

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caro

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Thank you both! I’m probably not getting enough blood. Won’t tilt anymore. Still getting used to it. I’ll squeeze below the knuckle for a longer time before testing.
 

dick0236

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Thank you both! I’m probably not getting enough blood. Won’t tilt anymore. Still getting used to it. I’ll squeeze below the knuckle for a longer time before testing.
Here are a couple of tricks you might try to get a bigger blood droplet:

Try to stick the finger a little to the side of the pad where the skin is not calloused.
Wrap a rubber band below the finger joint to force more blood into the test area........or "milk" the finger to force more blood into the test area. I prefer the "milking" but either works well. I try to get a warm pink glow before I stick the finger. Good luck......and don't get frustrated, it is only part of the learning curve.:confused:
 

Protimenow

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At one time, Pellicle had a video (or gave a recommendation - I'm not sure which) that showed the use of dental floss, wrapped around the finger, below the knuckle, to allow the blood to pool at the top of the finger. Using this method, you can get a good drop - just remove the floss once you've gotten the drop.

As Dick said, don't make the incision in the middle of the pad at the end of the fingertip -- use the area to the side of the fingertip - it can give you a good drop, and is supposed to be less sensitive.

'Milking' the finger is okay - but only BEFORE you make the incision. If you do this after the incision, while trying to get an adequate blood, you will dilute the blood with plasma and may get an incorrect reading.

Also - if you haven't been told this, you should put the blood onto the strip within 15 seconds of incising your finger. If you wait any longer, your blood may start to clot, and you'll get an erroneous result.
 

Sheenas7

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Hi Sheenas7! I have had the Coaguchek Vantus for two weeks now. I really like it so far. A nurse delivered it to my house, taught me how to use it and had me test myself. Last week was the first time I tested by myself. I went through a few tests before finally getting a result. I found that if I tilted the Vantus back a little after the test, it got a reading. I also have Cigna. They require at least 2 tests a month in order to keep your meter. I'll be testing every week.
Thank you for writing. I am waiting to get mine. Hope the learning curve is not too hard. Best of luck and keep me posted.
 

Sheenas7

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Hi Sheenas7! I have had the Coaguchek Vantus for two weeks now. I really like it so far. A nurse delivered it to my house, taught me how to use it and had me test myself. Last week was the first time I tested by myself. I went through a few tests before finally getting a result. I found that if I tilted the Vantus back a little after the test, it got a reading. I also have Cigna. They require at least 2 tests a month in order to keep your meter. I'll be testing every week.
Hoping to get mine soon. Let’s stay in touch. It really helps to have everyone in this group sending messages is support. Best wishes for you and everyone on the board.
 

Sheenas7

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Today I went for my INR at my doc's office. I went at 8 am so there were no people in the elevators. They use the Coaguchek XS like some of you do.My INR was 4.7! I was given instructions and I have to return in one week.
I called Roche and I asked how long before I could hear from them. They explained there is an issue that since the Corona Virus they have to meet with their legal department because I would need face to face training and that was causing the delays.They need some kind of advise or approval from their lawyers I guess. I was referred to leave a voice mail for my care specialist that they have assigned to me. I have done that. I feel stuck going to the doctor's office until this resolves. I also fear that they could close like other places have and just do phone or video visits. Then I would have to go to Quest Labs. This is like a catch 22.
I saw I could buy maybe on line a machine but I was hoping to do the service and the training.
Wish I had done this a long time ago. Anyone else waiting out there?
 

Protimenow

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No, I'm not waiting. I own my meters.

It's a bit interesting that Roche can't send a trainer who is equipped with a mask and gloves. It's a bit interesting that you need to be trained at all. They have video instructions (I'm sure that you'll find a hanful online), and their trainers should be equipped with protection for training you.

If you buy a meter on eBay, or from a distributor, the meter should be fine. These things are designed to do thousands of tests without issues.

There's a large group here who can help walk you through any issues you may encounter when learning how to use the meter.

Lot of luck dealing with Roche...
 

mecretired

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Since becoming eligible for Medicare I am using the Roche services. I had previously been using a Coaguchek and strips I purchased myself along with monthly lab visits. Even though I had used my own Coaguchek for about 5 yrs Roche still required me to do training with my Coumadin clinic. THEN I had trouble getting my insurance to pay for it even though it was required (they eventually did pay). So it’s just hoops Roche requires you to jump through.
 

kimcdougc

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Sheenas7 - personally, I would absolutely choose the Coag-Sense PT2. I've had one since the day they were released. Before that, I used the original, PT1 meter.

The PT2 works differently from the CoaguChek XS. The Coag-Sense actually detects the time it takes for a clot to form. The CoaguChek XS uses an electronic detector to estimate when a clot forms - and applies some calculations to come up with a prothrombin time and INR. This is not to knock the CoaguChek XS - it's pretty accurate for INRs below around 3.5 or 4.0. Personally, I prefer the Coag-Sense (and I have both).

The Coag-Sense has a slightly higher learning curve than the CoaguChek XS - but it's really not a problem. If you get a PT2 and have issues with getting the blood onto the strip, I'm here to help.

Over the years, Coagusense has been trying a variety of methods to transfer blood from finger to strip. The latest one is easy, and works. (Some people who use the CoaguChek XS who have problems touching the blood to the strip use capillary tubes to collect the blood, then transfer it to the strip -- in a way that's almost identical to the method for getting blood onto the Coag-Sense strip).

The PT2 has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, an Ethernet port, and an NFC reader that can be used to scan in codes for each new box of strips. My meter has done a few firmware updates since I've gotten it. It uses internal, rechargeable battery - which is charged with a mini-USB connection. The battery power lasts for many weeks. Plus, it's got a nice color display and easy menuing system.

I really like mine.
Protimenow did you get the Coag-Sense PT2 for home use or professional use? Just checking out the differences. You are the pro you know.

I am looking to upgrade my CoaguChek XS System.

Thanks,
Kim
 

caro

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Jan 7, 2020
Messages
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Location
NYC
Today I went for my INR at my doc's office. I went at 8 am so there were no people in the elevators. They use the Coaguchek XS like some of you do.My INR was 4.7! I was given instructions and I have to return in one week.
I called Roche and I asked how long before I could hear from them. They explained there is an issue that since the Corona Virus they have to meet with their legal department because I would need face to face training and that was causing the delays.They need some kind of advise or approval from their lawyers I guess. I was referred to leave a voice mail for my care specialist that they have assigned to me. I have done that. I feel stuck going to the doctor's office until this resolves. I also fear that they could close like other places have and just do phone or video visits. Then I would have to go to Quest Labs. This is like a catch 22.
I saw I could buy maybe on line a machine but I was hoping to do the service and the training.
Wish I had done this a long time ago. Anyone else waiting out there?
I’m so sorry about the delays. I hope Roche can get one to you soon. Sounds like eBay could be good option too. I tested today and tried the floss and rubber band. I’ll have to keep practicing with them. My blood pressure runs low, and I I think I tend to hold my breath before tests. I tried to relax by deep breathing. As a last resort, I lanced my finger and leaned over with my head and hands dangling towards the floor. I looked at my finger and there was the biggest bubble of blood I’ve seen so far. I was so happy. I used to be so squeamish before surgery, I’d faint at the sight of blood. Not anymore! I wonder if clinics could set up testing sites outside so that people can have fresh air and not have to touch any surfaces.
 

Protimenow

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Kim: I'm not sure if there is any difference from the Coag-Sense Home Meter and the Professoinal meter.

Both can hold up to 2000 results (kind of overkill for a home tester), both record results of high and low strips (used to test accuracy of the meter, and, I think of a new box of tests). Both record information on testers - clinicians running the tests, and an optional bar code reader for scanning patient and clinician information is available.

Both have WiFi, an Ethernet port, and NFC reader for logging in a new batch of strips. The biggest difference that I see is in the target marketing and the manuals.

The capabilities of the 'home' meter far exceed what a weekly tester would ever need.
 

Sheenas7

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Apr 22, 2014
Messages
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Location
Va, Fairfax County
Since becoming eligible for Medicare I am using the Roche services. I had previously been using a Coaguchek and strips I purchased myself along with monthly lab visits. Even though I had used my own Coaguchek for about 5 yrs Roche still required me to do training with my Coumadin clinic. THEN I had trouble getting my insurance to pay for it even though it was required (they eventually did pay). So it’s just hoops Roche requires you to jump through.
I am considering ordering a Coaguchek online from medical health professionals while I wait on Roche. Anyone have had any problems with that outfit? I’m thinking of buyers it to have it ASAP.
If Roche sends me one I’ll have two. Any comments on this idea?
 

Sheenas7

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Va, Fairfax County
Do any of you think that the WiFi blue tooth is more complicated? Any recommendations of where to buy? I may end up with the service from Roche eventually but in the meantime it may be best to hurry up and buy one on line. I am looking at Health Supply Pro.
 

caro

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Jan 7, 2020
Messages
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Location
NYC
Do any of you think that the WiFi blue tooth is more complicated? Any recommendations of where to buy? I may end up with the service from Roche eventually but in the meantime it may be best to hurry up and buy one on line. I am looking at Health Supply Pro.
I know that Vantus is Bluetooth optional. I haven’t set up Bluetooth yet, and I’m not sure I will. I just call the results in. I think I would have bought mine over eBay or another site if I didn’t get mine a couple weeks ago.
 

Sheenas7

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I heard from Roche! I will be hopefully picking up my Vantus from my cardiologist’s office. They agreed to send it there and a nurse will then train me on how to use it. They mailed it Friday so I hope to go there Tuesday, and after that begin home testing. So relieved. Thank you everyone for your comments and help. This is a great group.
 

Sheenas7

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Apr 22, 2014
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I know that Vantus is Bluetooth optional. I haven’t set up Bluetooth yet, and I’m not sure I will. I just call the results in. I think I would have bought mine over eBay or another site if I didn’t get mine a couple weeks ago.
Hi! It’s great to learn that you can call or use a web-cite. Is the reporting over the phone quick? Do you get a person on the line? What about turn around time for instructions? Do you report if you are in range? Or only if you are out of range? Can’t wait to get started and not have to drive there each time. Thank you for your help.
 

dick0236

Eat the elephant one bite at a time
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Hi! It’s great to learn that you can call or use a web-cite. Is the reporting over the phone quick? Do you get a person on the line? What about turn around time for instructions? Do you report if you are in range? Or only if you are out of range? Can’t wait to get started and not have to drive there each time. Thank you for your help.
Whoa:). Generally, I have had little trouble getting in touch with a "human" when I need to talk to my service (Coagucheck Patient Service). I electronically give my INR to my service via the computer......and they notify my doc of INR results.....he then notifies me of any needed change in meds (almost never happens). I think a lot depends on whether, or not, you are going thru a service or have purchased your meter/supplies direct from Rouch, or a distributor. Either way, I believe the process will be easy for you to master(y).

Remember, you can only eat the elephant one bite at a time:D.
 

caro

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@Sheenas7 So glad your meter is on the way!! Yes, the nurse will give you what you need for the website reporting. Roche will email you a temporary password for “Coaguchek Link” online. The nurse will also show you how to call in your results. It’s an automated line and you can dial in the results or speak the results. No matter the INR you get, Roche sends it to your doctor. They alert doctor right away if it’s out of range. Roche told me it’s required to report twice a month. They are fine with four times a month. The number you use to call in results will also connect you to a representative who will order more supplies when you need it. They sent me more strips one week after I requested more. So far I’ve been very pleased with their service.
 
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Sheenas7

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Apr 22, 2014
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Va, Fairfax County
@Sheenas7 So glad your meter is on the way!! Yes, the nurse will give you what you need for the website reporting. Roche will email you a temporary password for “Coaguchek Link” online. The nurse will also show you how to call in your results. It’s an automated line and you can dial in the results or speak the results. No matter the INR you get, Roche sends it to your doctor. They alert doctor right away if it’s out of range. Roche told me it’s required to report twice a month. They are fine with four times a month. The number you use to call in results will also connect you to a representative who will order more supplies when you need it. They sent me more strips one week after I requested more. So far I’ve been very pleased with their service.
Thank you Caro. Great information. I am feeling a lot better now that it is on its way😊
 

Sheenas7

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Apr 22, 2014
Messages
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Va, Fairfax County
Whoa:). Generally, I have had little trouble getting in touch with a "human" when I need to talk to my service (Coagucheck Patient Service). I electronically give my INR to my service via the computer......and they notify my doc of INR results.....he then notifies me of any needed change in meds (almost never happens). I think a lot depends on whether, or not, you are going thru a service or have purchased your meter/supplies direct from Rouch, or a distributor. Either way, I believe the process will be easy for you to master(y).

Remember, you can only eat the elephant one bite at a time:D.
Thank you. I did sign up for the service. I will be learning with the nurse at my doctors’s office on Tuesday. Thank you for all the information.😊
 
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