Coumadin is a bloodthinner used in Cardiology and other fields of medicine to prevent or treat thromboembolic events (improper blood flow, clotting and its effects). Some of these conditions include stroke, atrial fibrillation, blood clots in arteries or veins, pulmonary embolism, severe heart failure, extensive heart attacks, heart valve replacement, and sometimes, following stent placement in a blood vessel.
The use of Coumadin must be monitored closely to ensure correct dosage and to minimize the risk of bleeding due to excessive blood thinning. Until recently, a patient would need to come into the doctor’s office and have his or her blood drawn and sent o to a lab to be analyzed. This process can be cumbersome and necessitates blood draw from an arm vein. Results could take up to 48 hours, while the patient may still be taking a dosage that needs to be modified.
The Community Primary Care Coumadin Clinic provides a new, finger-stick method of blood analysis, approved by the FDA in 1997. This test is performed in the doctor’s office, eliminates the need for painful blood draws and ensures that accurate results are available within two minutes. The patient will visit with a trained Registered Nurse (R.N.) or a trained Medical Assistant (M.A.), supervised by a physician. Any adjustment to the medication dosage will be made immediately in consultation with a physician if necessary before the patient is sent home.