Clinical Applications: Anticoagulant Testing
Keeping Blood Clots at Bay: More Patients at Risk
Anticoagulants are used when patients are at risk of developing blood clots that could potentially block a blood vessel and disrupt the flow of blood around the body. These blood clots can cause stroke, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolisms (PE). Each year more than 15 million people suffer strokes worldwide, while many more are diagnosed with blood clots prior to an event, posing a large economic burden on healthcare systems in developed countries.
Besides a steady increase in anticoagulant use by a growing number of organic bood clot patients, anticoagulant use has also jumped due to increasing orthopedic surgery such as elective knee or hip replacement, where venous thromboembolisms (VTEs) must be prevented following the operation.
Some of the most commonly used anticoagulant medications to help prevent clotting, such as warfarin, interact with other medications and even some foods, altering effectiveness. This means that anticoagulant status and dosage must be carefully monitored through blood testing. Traditionally this testing was carried out by sending samples to a hospital based or central lab.
With the advent of point-of-care (POC) and home testing systems such as Micropoint's microfluidics-based qLabs® handheld device, healthcare teams or patients can obtain PT/INR results in just 2 minutes, streamlining the testing process, keeping costs low, and enabling patients to maintain their quality of life following a diagnosis of blood clot risk. The company's Coag Panel 2 cartridge, a 2-in-1 solution, allows medical teams to test for both PT/INR and aPTT at the same time in less than 7 minutes. Micropoint's mLabs® D-Dimer test helps check for VTE and can help doctors assess DVT or PE status.