Blood Coagulation Test at Home – Thick or Thin Blood?

Blood Coagulation Test

There are many people who regularly take blood thinning medications. Sometimes, this is a result of a serious clot related condition like a pulmonary embolism. Other times, these medications are used to treat various blood clotting disorders. People with some kinds of heart conditions or a history of thrombosis may also rely on the regular use of blood thinning medications like Coumadin. When these medications are used regularly, a blood coagulation test is needed at periodic intervals in order to determine the consistency of blood.

Typically, anticoagulation medications are used to prevent the recurrence of blood clots. When a deep vein thrombosis appears for instance, it can lead to serious complications like a heart attack or stroke. A deep vein thrombosis occurs most often in the large veins of the leg and requires prompt treatment. Usually, this treatment is the use of medications like fast acting heparin in the hospital to prevent the clot from getting any bigger and prevent new ones from forming. Since a deep vein thrombosis can be the precursor to serious health hazards, post hospitalization typically involves the use of medications like Warfarin (Coumadin) long term and subsequently, a blood coagulation test regularly to monitor the thickness of the blood.

Thick blood has many causes, but a sedentary lifestyle and a lack of mobility are some of the most common. Lifestyle factors such as smoking can also contribute to the formation of thick blood, and this change in blood viscosity can lead to an increased risk of dangerous clots. Thick blood is often easily identifiable with a blood coagulation test and, there are now home options available in order to test how thick or thin the blood is. In turn, the use of home kits to test blood thickness can also be essential to determining how to prevent blood clots. This is because when the kits signal thickened blood, dosages of medications can be altered. This preemptive measure means that instead of waiting for a clot to form and relying on various blood clot symptoms that can be misleading at times, home kits can alert those on thinning medications that something is not right and thus indicate the need for a visit with a doctor. Since people with thick blood who are taking thinning medications are subject to very frequent monitoring visits to test their blood’s thickness, home kits also add a big convenience factor, possibly reducing the frequency of clinic checks. Therefore in terms of convenience and an even faster way to check the viscosity of blood, home kits are revolutionizing the way that blood thinner users manage their conditions.

The kits to perform a blood coagulation test at home work by using sensors that are attached to vibrating cantilevers. These cantilevers are able to vibrate very rapidly and when combined with pulse, heat and flexing, the end result is a simple and easy way to measure the thickness of the blood.

Typically, a trip to the doctor’s office is required to measure blood coagulation. When samples are collected, a reagent is added to them that commences blood coagulation. Using a measurement of light scattering throughout the sample, a calculation of blood coagulation can be determined. However, home blood coagulation test devices provide the same measurements in a much simpler methods, via the use of the vibrating cantilevers. There are many benefits to testing the thickness or thinness of the blood at home. For instance, variants in measurements due to natural blood thinners like some foods and herbs can be identified and tests repeated in order to determine if the result may have an outside factor. And, testing can also be done even more often because it is much more convenient to do the tests at home rather than have to leave to go to a doctor’s office or clinic or lab to have the test performed. But, a home blood coagulation test does not eliminate the need to have regular monitoring tests done by a health care provider.

Because there is a serious risk of a blood clot developing in people with thick blood, certain health conditions and risk factors and those who have previously had a clot, it is very important that sound medical care be the foundation of continued treatment. But, if the use of a blood thinning medication in the long term appears to be imminent, it may be worthwhile to discuss the use of a home blood coagulation test device with a health care provider. While it will not entirely eliminate the need to have regular blood tests in a medical setting, it can reduce their recurrence. And, home test kits also provide a means to perform more frequent testing and therefore provide a better overall picture of how thick or thin blood is and how it is changing over time and with continued use of medications.

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coagulation
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/411164/a-portable-cheap-blood-clotting-test/

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