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Monitoring Blood Thinners May Be Safely Done at Home

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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Philadelphia (CBS) — The drug is called warfarin – the most popular brand name is Coumadin. It is a blood thinner that is used often in patients with irregular heartbeats to reduce the chance of stroke from dangerous clots.

But, people taking the anticoagulation medication warfarin have to regularly monitor their blood to make sure that its tendency to clot is not too high. This type of monitoring has usually been done in clinical settings like doctor’s offices, but at-home monitoring systems – not unlike those used by diabetics to monitor blood sugar levels – may be as, if not more, effective.

A new report by the National Institute of Health, looked at 2922 patients on warfarin to either weekly self-test at home or to do monthly testing in the clinic.

They found that patient safety stayed the same and patients found it more convenient at home.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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