Taking anticoagulants would ordinarily mean that a person would undergo frequent laboratory blood tests, which is impractical and time prohibitive in maintaining proper treatment. A solution for patients and physicians alike is an anticoagulation clinic, where a simple finger stick produces immediate blood level readings. The staff at Community Anderson’s Anticoagulation Clinic can adjust medication right away if needed, instead of allowing patients to remain on levels that are too low or too high for any amount of time.
For patients having challenges with getting medication levels accurate, finger pokes are usually far easier to bear than frequent venous blood tests.
A vital part of an anticoagulation clinic is the ability to offer not only blood testing and medication adjustment, but also educational resources to patients. Our clinic is physician-directed, and managed by Sharon McClintock, R.N., and Diane Snyder, R.N. Patients will leave the clinic feeling comfortable and well-educated in regard to medication, diet and lifestyle. Open and frequent communication is encouraged between clinicians, physicians and patients.
Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Anticoagulation Clinic at Community Hospital Anderson is located within the Healthy Hearts Clinic. Patients should park in the west parking lot of the 1210B Building and enter through door 6.
Understanding common terms:
Anticoagulation: The process of hindering the clotting of blood, most commonly with an anticoagulant.
Anticogulant: The most commonly used oral anticoagulant in the United States is warfarin (commonly marketed as Coumadin®). An anticoagulant is a drug used to prevent unwanted and dangerous blood clots. Although anticoagulants are often called "blood thinners," warfarin does not actually make your blood thinner. Warfarin interferes with the body's ability to make a blood clot, and is commonly prescribed for people with a variety of heart conditions. Obtaining and maintaining accurate blood levels of the medication takes some work, and can be challenging when patients eat certain foods, become sick, or add other medications or herbal remedies. For frequent medication adjustments on a fairly regular basis, anticoagulation clinics are essential.
PT-INR test: PT stands for prothrombin time, a measure of how quickly blood clots. The traditional method for performing a PT test is to have your blood drawn and sent to a lab. At the lab, a substance called a reagent is added to your blood. The reagent causes the blood to begin clotting. The PT result is the time in seconds that is required for the blood to clot. There are a variety of reagents that can be used when a PT test is performed. Since each of these reagents works a bit differently, a PT result obtained with one reagent cannot be compared to a PT result obtained with another reagent. To account for the different reagents, the result of a PT test must be converted into standard units that can be compared regardless of the reagent used. These standard units are known as International Normalized Ratio or INR. As its name suggests, one INR result can be compared to another INR result, regardless of how or where the result was obtained. The ideal target INR range will vary from person to person depending on a variety of factors.