I give my full support and commitment to continue with supporting the AntiCoagulation Self-Monitoring Alliance (ACSMA) campaign, to increase access to self-monitoring via prescription for patients on long-term warfarin. I believe if patients are able to choose self-monitoring, then this would contribute in improving the quality of their care. ACSMA comprises four of the UK’s leading charities and patient groups – AntiCoagulation Europe; the Children’s Heart Federation; the Atrial Fibrillation Association; the Mechanical Heart Valve Support Group – that exist to provide advice, support and guidance to patients on oral anticoagulation therapy, as well as their families and healthcare professionals. Healthcare company Roche is also part of the alliance.
Warfarin is used to reduce the risk of blood clots in conditions such as atrial fibrillation,deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and in people with mechanical heart valves.
Anne Keatley-Clarke, Chief Executive of the Children’s Heart Federation said: “Children with heart conditions have to miss a great deal of school to travel to hospital to have their INR levels checked, which is a disruption in their already difficult lives. Parents may also be prevented from going back to work and there are significant travel costs.” Therefore, I believe we should have more open discussions with our GPs in order to explore self-monitoring as an option thus increasing the quality of care.
Self-monitoring is convenient for those on long-term warfarin, reducing clinic visits and freeing up precious time. It is also associated with more accurate warfarin dosing and can bring about a significant reduction in adverse events and death. Furthermore, self-monitoring has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke by over 50 per cent and reduce mortality rates by nearly two fifths. Through self-monitoring, results can be produced in less than a minute and readings can then be shared with the healthcare professional, and if needed, adjustments to warfarin dosage made.
According, to Heneghan C et al analysis, on self-monitoring of oral anticoagulation, Warfarin is currently affecting more than 1.2 million people in the UK and with an estimated of 1809 people living in Ealing Southall. There is evidence that states that the benefits from self-monitoring can cut the risk of death by nearly two-fifths and more than halve the risk of strokes, however, only two percent of people are using self-monitoring as an option.
We need to see more opportunities for people to discuss the option of self-monitoring with their GP. I encourage patients and their families to show their support for self-monitoring technology to be made available on NHS prescription by signing up to the campaign at www.acsma.org.uk.
For details of local ACSMA events please visit www.acsma.org.uk
For further information on ACSMA, please contact Helen Johnson on mobile: 07771 975549 or email at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org