The devices funded during Covid-19 has enabled patients to safely continue their treatment at home

Thanks to over £3,000 of funding from Leeds Hospitals Charity, patients shielding due to Covid-19 have been able to continue monitoring and testing their bloods safely within their homes.

The CoaguChek home testing devices are designed for patients who have been diagnosed with reoccurring Thrombosis or clotting. These patients regularly take Warfarin, a blood thinning medicine to help ensure blood clots don’t occur.

Those who take Warfarin require regular blood tests to make sure the dosage levels remain correct. The CoaguChek devices measures the time for the blood to clot from their own homes, and has been a lifeline to patients both at St James’s and Leeds Children’s Hospital.

Vicky Cheeseright, Pharmacy Technician for the Anticoagulation Service explains: “The self test patients have seen their results improve due to having more control over their care with the devices, which means they are reducing their risk of a blood clot. They have been able to shield and still safely check their results and speak to us by phone.”

One patient whose father uses a CoaguChek machine explains why it has been so important to them: “My dad was struggling to attend appointments due to his physical health, which then took a toll on his mental health.

Having one of these machines at home has been a Godsend especially during the coronavirus pandemic. We count ourselves very lucky to have one of these machines and we can’t thank the NHS staff and Leeds Hospitals Charity enough – my dad feels much better both physically and mentally.”

Alex Hollwey, Advanced Clinical Pharmacist at Leeds Children’s Hospital explains why the kits have been so important to younger patients: “Since March this year, some patients have been shielding meaning they are unable to travel to hospital for their blood tests, so these devices are essential, especially for those who are sensitive to Warfarin. 

Children who are also nervous about blood tests use the CoaguChek devices as this only requires a finger prick, which is not as scary. For older children too, these machines mean that they don’t miss out on essential school time by having to travel to hospital.”