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PT/INR Home Testing

INR Testing Strips

The CoaguChek XS PT/INR test strips work with the CoaguChek XS system to test


coagulation levels.

The strips require a minute blood sample and the strips allow dosing from either side for quick and simple application process. Results are ready in approximately one minute. A code chip is included in every box of CoaguChek XS PT/INR test strips.

With just a small sample of blood, the CoaguChek INR tester will let patients monitor their PT/INR values with ease.

Usage of the CoaguChek XS PT/INR test strips with the PT/INR machine greatly reduces the number of doctor visits, and helps patients regain control over their condition. For a demonstration on how to properly apply blood to the INR test strip CLICK HERE.

How long is a INR test strip good for out of the vial?

The manufacturer states that test strips remain viable out of the vial for up to 10 minutes maximum. Having the strip out of the vial for too long, especially in high-humidity or high-temperature environments, could potentially damage the integrity of the strip. However, this would be detected by the meter’s onboard quality control checks, and give you a QC error message. If a strip is compromised, no INR result is given, eliminating the risk of inaccurate results. Make sure to always put the cap back on the vial snuggly.

If I don’t apply enough blood to the strip can I add more?

No you can not. The blood must be applied to the test strip all at once because coagulation begins immediately. If you do not apply enough blood to the strip you will most likely receive an error “5” and will need to start the test over again with a new strip and a blood sample from a different finger. If you do not get a large enough blood sample do not try to test, instead remove the test strip and start the test over when you have a larger sample.

Can I apply the blood at any time?

You can only apply your blood sample during the 180 second countdown which follows confirming the code chip number matches your vial code and after the warm up period. If you apply blood prior to the countdown an error message will appear on the screen and a new test must be performed using a new test strip and a different finger.

Why is testing important?

Whether your INR is checked at your doctor’s office, in a clinic, lab, or from home, frequent INR testing and Coumadin monitoring is important. It enables your physician to make the proper adjustments to your Coumadin dosage to help keep your INR in-range. Staying in-range is important because when you are in-range you can decrease your risk of complications associated with Coumadin therapy such as clots or bleeding. Testing your INR at home with a CoaguChek XS System makes testing frequently much easier and convenient.

What if my INR test strips have expired?

Test strips provided by ACS generally have expiration dates a year out and this should not be an issue. You may get an error “3” that the strips are expired if you accidently changed the date on the meter, in which case you must correctly reset the date. The code key provided with each vial of test strips helps to ensure that expired strips are not used. If the test strip is in fact expired you will not be able to run a test and should discard them.

What Is Self INR Testing?

For people at high risk of blood clots on oral anticoagulation therapy — taking either Coumadin® or warfarin.

To ensure anticoagulant levels remain stable frequent PT/INR monitoring is paramount. These test results enable your doctor to adjust your warfarin dose when needed in order to keep your PT/INR within a safe therapeutic range, which lowers your risk of complications such as blood clots or internal bleeding.

Frequent warfarin level monitoring doesn’t have to mean inconvenient trips to the doctors office or clinic. Many people check their INR levels from the comfort of home with a simple fingerstick test that uses the same CoaguChek XS meter found in most doctors’ offices or Anticoagulation Clinics, very similar to a diabetes blood glucose test. The convenience of self-testing your INR makes it easy to test more frequently, up to once a week. Taking the test and reporting your INR test result via online or over the phone takes just minutes!  Knowing that if you are out-of-range your doctor can make an immediate change to your Coumadin dosage to get you back in-range can provide a greater peace of mind.

Self-testing requires testing on a weekly basis, a prescription, and a doctor that is willing to interpret your test results. So talk with your doctor about whether it’s right for you or call ACS and we can discuss the details with your doctor’s office and take care of obtaining a prescription for you.

For anyone who takes anticoagulation medication such as Coumadin® or another brand of warfarin, PT/INR (prothrombin time/international normalized ratio) testing is an important part of your ongoing care.

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