How Often Do You Test?

Help Support ValveReplacement.org:

temp69

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
419
Location
calabasas, ca
I've been doing it every two weeks and coming up with pretty steady numbers and wonder if i could stretch it out to a month, or six weeks. anyone have any thoughts about this?

i ask because at dr's office when i first was testing i was running pretty normal (3.0) and the guy said "see you in a month).

Mmmmm? :confused:
 
G

geebee

Guest
I test every week to 10 days since I now home test. Prior to home testing, I was going to the lab every 4 - 6 weeks (and was doing so for over 20 years).
 

Ross

Observer
Joined
Dec 16, 2001
Messages
25,981
Location
On The Hot Seat
If your solidly stabile, there isn't any reason you can't stretch it to a month. I test weekly only because I can.
 

Magic8Ball

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
562
Location
Perth, West Australia.
I only ever got it down to every two weeks at the lab as it was early days after my surgery.

I always intended to get a home tester and since getting that i at first tested every week but now have fallen back to every 10 - 14 days OR i will test just before a big family occasion/party etc so i know if i can pig out on food or have an extra glass of wine etc.

Since getting my home tester i have only tested at the lab twice, about 6 weeks appart and always try to combine with any other blood tests that are required cos my veigns are busted already.

If i was still testing at the lab only i think they would have pushed to get me to test monthly...i think thats fairly standard if your numbers are pretty flat.
 
9

901

Guest
I home test. When I was going to the clinic, If I was steady, they would see me once a month. When I was out of range, they would have me come in weekly until I got two weeks consecutively in range and then back to monthly.
Now that I home test, I try to hit 3.5 to 4.0 (my range is 2.5 to 3.5) and it is usually there on a monthly basis.
 

Blanche

Happy to be here
Joined
Jun 19, 2001
Messages
1,685
Location
Arizona
Temp:
For many years doctors' standard practice for checking INR was once a month. However, I believe this is changing, moreso in Europe, but also in the US. Medicare, for example will provide anticoagulation services for valvers but the valvers are required to test weekly. Home testing is the way to go. It is so easy and totally safe. Albert and I both take Coumadin and we test together, once per week. The entire testing for both of us is less than 15 minutes from getting the monitor from the drawer to returning it to the drawer. Nice time saver...

There are hundreds of people who will tell you they test once a month and that is sufficient. For them, it probably is sufficient.

Al tested every four weeks from October 1990 until December 15, 2000. He had no problems whatever during those 10 years. Most of the time his INR was steady and he had very few dose changes. Then, in December 2000, he had 2 strokes.

His first stroke, a TIA, knocked him out for several hours. He was hospitalized for 6 days. Two days after he returned home, right before my very eyes, he had a severe stroke, a CVA. He spent a month more in two different hospitals. After he was released from the hospital, he had to go for speech, physical, and occupational therapies for some 5-6 months

According to some of the many doctors who treated Al, his strokes were caused by a "Coumadin failure." His INR with the first stroke was 1.8 and with the second it was 1.6.

If he had been testing weekly, it is likely that the low INR numbers would have been caught before the damage was done.

Somebody recently told me that getting a stroke while on coumadin was very unlikely "these days." Jokingly said, probably one tenth of one percent. Well, that may be true, but Al's chance of getting a stroke was 100%.

Blanche
 

Rich

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2002
Messages
1,314
Location
S.E. Mi
I test once a month at the lab, and have been doing so for almost eleven years.
Blanche I'm not sure what you meant regarding Medicare. I don't test weekly and Medicare pays the entire cost of the lab draw, whether it's once a month or every week, it doesn't matter.
Rich
 

catwoman

VR.org Donator
Joined
Sep 23, 2003
Messages
5,978
Location
near Fort Worth TX
Rich said:
I test once a month at the lab, and have been doing so for almost eleven years.
Blanche I'm not sure what you meant regarding Medicare. I don't test weekly and Medicare pays the entire cost of the lab draw, whether it's once a month or every week, it doesn't matter.
Rich
Rich:

From what I've gleaned, Medicare will provide home testing units for mechanical valvers. HOWEVER, you have to test weekly and report the results to a 3rd party, who will in turn report the results to your PCP (I guess that's the way it works). Granbonny has said she pay for her own testing because she doesn't want to deal with the hassle. (Don't blame her!)
 

Rich

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2002
Messages
1,314
Location
S.E. Mi
I didn't realize we were talking about home testing. I can see where those rules would be a real pain in the neck.
My hospital is only about fifteen minutes from home. They set up a special lab just for patients like us, so there is little or no waiting. The results are faxed to my cardiologist's office a few hours later( his office is in the same hospital) and they call me with the results the same day. All of this is 100% covered by Medicare.
Rich
 

Blanche

Happy to be here
Joined
Jun 19, 2001
Messages
1,685
Location
Arizona
Rich,
You are correct. The topic of this thread is frequency of testing. I didn't mean to throw the cat among the pidgeons when I mentioned Medicare. I should have been more specific in my reference to Medicare.

The point I was trying (badly) to make is that Medicare will cover home testing and they require weekly testing. If you don't want to Home test, Medicare will cover lab testing.

I think it is especially interesting that Medicare, which greatly affects medical practices, has required weekly HOME testing. Some might take this to imply that more frequent testing is needed.

We have home tested since March 2001. We bought the monitor and pay for all supplies. Although Medicare would cover lab tests or home testing, we will continue to pay for the supplies, and in the near future a new INRatio monitor because, like Bonnie, we wish to by pass the complications that Medicare might involve.

I don't recommend that folks test weekly. They should do what suits them. But, I think it is important for folks to understand that anticoagulation is complicated and serious problems, although infrequent can happen. Albert is an example of that. He's an engineer and a very precise (read anal..hehe) person. He followed all of the rules, yet he had a "Coumadin failure" which left him a changed person. Imagine not being able to drive and having to depend on your sweet, beautiful, wonderful, lovely wife when ever you need to go anywhere. Had he been testing weekly, the doctors say that his low INR would have been seen and corrected.

Kindest regards,
Blanche
 

Rich

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2002
Messages
1,314
Location
S.E. Mi
Hi Blanche,
I am an engineer also, so I know what you mean.:D
I can't imagine how your husband feels after something like that.
One of my wife's sisters died recently after suffering a major stroke. It was caused by coumadin mis-management at a clinic in Florida.
They got her test results four days after her blood draw, but she had the stroke three days after the blood draw.:( And this was after testing every two weeks.
It shows us the importance of staying on top of this at all times.
Rich
 
P

PeggyM

Guest
I test when I get the letter from Kaiser reminding me that's it's way overdue.:D

When it's running normal, once a month is fine for me. Other times I'm suppose to do it every couple of weeks but it's like pulling teeth. I know it's foolish.
 

temp69

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
419
Location
calabasas, ca
thanks for the input!

thanks for the input!

I'm so glad to know! I'm going out of town for a couple of weeks and don't really want to schlep along my home testing unit A)because I don't want to damage it and B)I'm not going to be gone for more than two weeks so if I test right before I go, I won't need to until I get back. No reason to take the unit, right?;)
 

Latest posts

Top