Support Services

Coumadin Clinic

Overview

At the Coumadin Clinic in Humboldt, we work with patients who have been prescribed Coumadin treatment (blood thinners) to help with the management of conditions such as irregular heartbeat, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolisms, the presence of artificial valves, and heart attack.

Why Choose Us

Many Americans require blood therapy treatment to help manage common conditions such as irregular heartbeat, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolisms, the presence of artificial valves and, in some cases, heart attacks due to particular risk factors. However, patients that receive services from us at the Coumadin Clinic have proved to have better control of their International Normalized Ratio (INR), fewer problems associated with blood clots, and better outcomes.

At the Coumadin clinic in Eureka, we work with more than 500 patients each month, consistently providing support, education and a path to healing for individuals living with these conditions and who have been prescribed Coumadin treatments (blood thinners) such as warfarin.

Our team of specially trained clinical nurses and physicians are dedicated to service excellence specifically within the field of Coumadin treatment. We work with you to not only help you understand how these prescribed medications work, but also to monitor and manage them to ensure that you get the maximum benefit from these treatments while minimizing any potential risk.

Our Approach

In some instances, you may have been referred to us by your primary care physician, or, if your primary care physician is within our existing network then the Clinic will form part of your current care program. Either way, our trusted team of medical specialists at the Coumadin Clinic work closely with your healthcare provider to monitor and manage your condition.

We also offer accessible monitoring options through telehealth and digital services, because we understand that finding the time to visit the clinic physically can be challenging. Our state-of-the-art technology systems and home testing methods enable us to stay in touch and monitor your clotting levels, regardless of where you are, making your health care accessible and less disruptive to your day to day schedule.

Understanding Coumadin Treatment.

Typically, when a patient experiences excessive bleeding or blood clots, a Prothrombin Test (PT) and Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT) test are used to help diagnose the underlying causes of the bleeding or clotting disorder. Depending on the diagnoses, a patient may be required to start Coumadin treatment and prescribed anticoagulants which help to thin the blood and prevent blood clots from reoccurring.

Coumadin is a potent treatment that thins out the blood to prevent blood clots from forming, in turn reducing the risk of conditions such as heart attack, lung clots, leg clots and other blood clot disorders. However, high levels of Coumadin can increase the risk of bleeding, and as such your levels need to be consistently monitored.

Once Coumadin treatment has been prescribed, International Normalized Ratio tests (INR) are regularly conducted to enable us to measure and monitor the balance of clotting agents in your blood.

What to expect

An INR test uses a simple device to prick the finger and draw a small sample of blood. The test is quick and results are typically available within seconds. Depending on the results, medications may be adjusted.

Our Coumadin care specialists will provide you with the knowledge you will need to manage your condition on a day-to-day basis. We will discuss not only medication dosages, but also potential life style changes such as diet that may also need to be adjusted, side effects to look out for, and what to do if you are injured or ill.

We also welcome your family members and caregivers to join the conversation so that they too can understand and help you as you journey through your treatment and care program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an anticoagulant?

Anticoagulants are blood thinning medications that work with the body's clotting system to prevent the formation of blood clots.

Why does our blood clot?

Blood clots are necessary for healing. For example, when you cut your finger, blood clots form to seal the cut closed and prevent foreign bodies from entering the body and causing infection. But in some instances, blood clots can form and block the circulation of blood to various parts of the body such as the heart or veins in the legs, causing conditions such as heart attack or stroke.

How does Coumadin work?

The liver uses Vitamin K extracted from the food we eat to make blood clotting proteins. Coumadin reduces the liver's ability to do this, thereby reducing the risk of forming blood clots.

How does my vitamin K intake affect my treatment?

A significant increase or decrease of vitamin K in your diet significantly impacts the way in which the Coumadin treatment works. For example, an increase in your vitamin K consumption will reduce your INR. A decrease in Vitamin K consumption will increase your INR. That is why adjustments to your diet will be necessary to ensure your INR stays balanced.

Should I avoid eating foods rich in Vitamin K?

Vitamin K, which is found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, has a host of other benefits including helping to manage cholesterol, reduce the risk of vision loss and developing conditions such as osteoporosis. As such, you should not seek to eliminate vitamin K from your diet, but instead, work with our Coumadin specialists to find a balance in your vitamin K consumption.

OTHER QUESTIONS

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Additional Resources

Health Calling is an online resource from the St. Joseph Health network that can help you find a wealth of information regarding general health and wellness, as well as dietary and lifestyle tips for patients in Coumadin treatment.