A condition called atrial fibrillation, necessitates more than 22 million Americans to take warfarin regularly for the rest of their lives. The likelihood of developing atrial fibrillation increases with age.Three to five percent of people over 65 have atrial fibrillation. If the blood isn’t pumped completely out of the heart’s upper chambers, it may pool and clot. If a piece of a blood clot in the atria leaves the heart and becomes lodged in an artery in the brain, a stroke results. About 15 percent of strokes occur in people with atrial fibrillation. Maintaining the correct dosage of medication is instrumental to assure patient safety. To be successful on a Coumadin regimen, it is critical that the patient follow the instructions and comply with request s for regular blood tests. Monitoring the effectiveness of the warfarin is done with these blood tests. The International Normalized Ratio (INR), are measured to determine the extrinsic pathway of coagulation. They are used to determine the clotting tendency of blood, in the measure of dosage, liver damage and vitamin K status.
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Author: Janet Smytherton
Published articles: 1