Your child may already have had surgery or will be undergoing surgery which may require anticoagulation therapy. The drug which is most commonly used for this is known as warfarin. This is a type of drug that helps to thin the blood and prevent blood clots. Types of surgery where this may be needed include having a mechanical valve replacement and fontan completion. In some cases, warfarin may also be needed in kawasaki’s disease.
What is INR?
Whilst your child is on warfarin, their INR will need to be calculated which is the measurement of how long it takes the blood to clot. This is done through testing the blood which can be done via an INR machine which involves a finger prick or through having a venous blood test.
How is INR and warfarin managed?
There will be healthcare professionals involved in your child’s care to help manage the warfarin and your child’s INR levels. This includes the pharmacists at the warfarin clinic, children’s cardiac nurse specialists, and your child’s consultant.
For further information on warfarin and INR, please take a look at our newly updated warfarin and INR booklet which provides information, advice and contact information. This can be found here
Following surgery, you may be offered to do home testing for INR and be given a machine, which the cardiac nurse specialists will train you on. The video below demonstrates the process of using the machine which we recommend watching.
Arabella shows us how she does her own INR Home Test
Arabella is such an expert on doing her own blood sample for her home INR machine, she did a video for us to show other children how she does it! Thank you so much to Arabella – you are a star!
Thank you to the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund for supplying the machines over the years, allowing our families to live more independently , and not need to go constantly for blood tests!
Arabella’s Top Tips for doing an INR blood test!
Thank you as always to the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund for providing the home test machines!
If you have any further queries regarding home testing, please do not hesitate to contact the children’s cardiac nurse specialist team.