People who develop blood clots, an irregular heartbeat, had surgery, or suffered a heart attack or stroke may be prescribed a blood thinning medication called an anticoagulant.
Anticoagulants, such as Coumadin or warfarin by its generic name, help prevent heart attacks, strokes, and other blockages in veins and arteries. Many things can alter Coumadin’s effectiveness such as change in weight, activity level, diet, overall health, or other medications.
Physicians may refer patients taking an anticoagulant to St. Mary's Coumadin Clinic. The clinic sees 50 to 60 patients a day, providing anticoagulation management to more than 1,000 patients.
Anticoagulation management keeps patients safe and medication effective. Patients visit the clinic, staffed by registered nurses and overseen by a physician medical director, anywhere from weekly to monthly. On each visit, the staff does a quick, finger-prick blood test. Results are immediate and the patient’s dose can be adjusted accordingly. It’s a quick visit to protect the patient and make sure they’re getting the best from their medication.