INTRODUCTION TO COAGULATION TESTS
When any minor injury or cut happens, we bleed. In most healthy people the bleeding stops. But a person who is suffering from bleeding disorders can suffer major consequences from even a minor cut. Excessive bleeding can be quite dangerous or even fatal. Clotting is what prevents excessive or severe bleeding.
Patients with blood clotting disorders lack certain clotting factors or proteins that are essential for the formation of a blood clot. The blood clot should not form inside the blood vessel. If the blood starts clotting inside the blood vessels it creates an obstacle in the path of blood flow that may lead to a heart attack or a stroke. Health care providers ask them to perform certain blood tests that determine the blood’s ability to clot. Those tests are known as coagulation tests. The doctors take a blood sample and send it to the laboratories for further analysis and diagnosis. These tests are performed under the strict supervision of the doctors.
WHY COAGULATION TESTS?
Coagulation tests are performed to discover any problems in the coagulation protein factors or their functioning. There are various clotting disorders and all of them cause a dangerous amount of bleeding or clotting. If you visit a doctor for any such issue he may prescribe you certain coagulation tests. There are also major conditions that cause coagulation disorders such as –
Any liver disease
Excessive clotting or thrombophilia
Unable to clot normally or hemophilia
Deficiency of vitamin K
Already on blood-thinning medications such as WARFARIN
VARIANTS OF COAGULATION TESTS
Fibrinogen level test
CBC (Complete Blood Count ) Test
Factor v test
Total Blood Platelet Count test
Thrombin Time test
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HOW IS THE TEST CONDUCTED?
A professional will insert a sterilized needle into your vein and will take a small amount of blood for the sample in the syringe. The sample is then forwarded to a lab for further analysis.
After the test, if it is found that any of the clotting factors are missing, patients are diagnosed with bleeding disorders. These patients are immediately put on strict medications and are asked to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The treatment begins as soon as possible to avoid adverse effects. Regular follow-ups and checkups become routine.
For many patients who are for any reason are unable to go elswhere to measure their PT/INR level, PATIENT SELF TESTING finger prick test is the most convenient method. They can easily perform a test on their own with the help of a PT/INR METER which is an affordable, accurate device that gives the result within seconds. This quick-reading also helps health care providers to manage the doses of WARFARIN (COUMADIN)