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25 February 2019

No vein, big gain for Anticoagulation

Members of the Anticoagulation team with patient Michelle
Members of the Anticoagulation team with patient Michelle

Anticoagulation has introduced finger-prick blood tests in an initiative that has been welcomed by staff and patients.

Previously, patients visiting the anticoagulation clinic would have blood taken by a needle into a vein in their arm, and face a wait for results. But now, thanks to new technology, blood can be taken from a finger and results given instantly.

The department runs two clinics a week seeing 80 patients on blood-thinning drugs. Speeding up the process has benefitted everyone according to Angela Davis, clinical nurse specialist in anticoagulation.

“Before, the test would go off to the lab, we would wait until the afternoon to get the result, and then we would post the results out to patient. But now we get an instant result, the patient knows what dose of warfarin they’re taking, and know when their next appointment is when they leave the hospital. There’s no more posting out to patients and no more phone calls; it’s clinically much more effective and much better for the patient.”

The addition of this service at Broomfield is a step towards standardising methods with Southend and Basildon hospitals, and Angela thanked colleagues for their support.

“I’ve been in post three years now, we’ve been pushing to get this set up, and now we’ve achieved it with Dr Kotoucek’s help, the support of my manager and the whole department.”

Dr Pavel Kotoucek, consultant haematologist and lead for anticoagulation services, added: “Our anticoagulation service is very patient-friendly. When we used to a do a venous sample, it was more painful and time-demanding. We’re very proud to establish this new method here as it’s very good for patients and they are very happy.”