Sunday, October 18, 2009

Protime Blood Test

I am a lab tech for a physicians office and I have numerous patients that come in for pro-time levels. In our office we use a coagucheck, which is a small hand held device just like a blood glucose meter. All it takes is a small drop of blood from a fingertip. Most of my patients love the fact that I do not have to do a venous draw. I do get a lot of questions though about what all the numbers mean. I will try and put it into lamest terms.
When you get the INR level, that is the level that tells the doctor how thin or how thick your blood is. The higher the number, the thinner it is. The lower the number, the thicker it is. Now in a patient that is not on any blood thinners the INR should be around 1.0, but for those on medications a good therapeutic level would be between 2.5 and 3.0. This INR number is going to help the doctor decide if they should increase or decrease the dosage.
The second number is the seconds. That number is how many seconds it takes for your blood to clot. In those patients not on medication, it should be between 11 and 13 seconds.
So the next time you get your pro-time results I hope I helped you understand what those numbers meant.
*Remember: Your doctor knows best and be sure to listen to instructions on dosage and do not try and adjust them yourself. Blood thinners can be very dangerous if not taken correctly.