A few months ago, we covered the Accumetrics VerifyNow sensor that detected whether aspirin’s anti-platelet effects were working (in up to 30% of patients, it doesn’t).
Now, according to Sign On San Diego, the company has produced a Plavix function detector:
Typically doctors want patients off Plavix for five days to a week before surgery. Even then, the effects of the drug can linger because it leaves people’s bodies at different rates.
Hospitals are using the VerifyNow test for Plavix to get a clear indication of when the drug is gone, which can allow them to operate sooner and then get the patient back on his or her anti-clotting drug. It also can signal when a surgery needs to be delayed further to give the drug more time to leave a patient’s system.
It was in hospitals where Accumetrics cut its teeth on its first test, which measures the effects of intravenous anti-clotting agents on patients. Such drugs are used when a stent is being placed in a patient’s artery.
A selling point for the devices is their ease of use and the minutes it takes to insert a blood sample onto a plastic cartridge, insert it into a meter device smaller than a desk-top telephone, and then begin receiving results.
The device is small enough, and simple enough, to fit into a doctor’s office. With so many people trusting aspirin and plavix, but with effects so difficult to quantify, VerifyNow should do well in the future.
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