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Old 07-10-2015, 11:59   #1
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Coumadin and Cruising

We will be cruising the western Carribean. I am on Coumadin Therapy. Any advice on access to the meds. and testing availability?








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Old 07-10-2015, 12:12   #2
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Re: Coumadin and Cruising

If you need occasional blood tests to monitor Coumadin levels that would probably be available in the larger towns so you would have to plan your trip accordingly. Prior to departure I would consult with the cardiologist and make sure you bring medical records with you to show the local doctors.
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Old 07-10-2015, 12:25   #3
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Re: Coumadin and Cruising

Rather than hiding under a rock, I have spoken to my cardiologist. His suggestion was to take an INR tester. I was hoping someone who actually used Coumadin might offer suggestions. Thank you for your thoughts😎



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Old 07-10-2015, 12:31   #4
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Re: Coumadin and Cruising

Thanks skipmac! My cardiologist didn't really freak out about it. Been on this routine 5 years now and am pretty good at self monitoring. Appreciate the advice. ⛵️🐬


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Old 07-10-2015, 12:43   #5
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Re: Coumadin and Cruising

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Originally Posted by rastamon View Post
Rather than hiding under a rock, I have spoken to my cardiologist. His suggestion was to take an INR tester. I was hoping someone who actually used Coumadin might offer suggestions. Thank you for your thoughts��
Fortunately not taking it myself but having to deal with it. I help my 91 Y.O. father monitor his Coumadin, take him to the VA for blood tests and if any questions ask my daughter who is a doctor.

Also spent a little time in the Caribbean and had a couple of medical issues and learned very quickly that anything more than a couple of stitches I needed to get myself to the closest city.

I also stayed in a Holiday Inn Express once a few years ago.
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Old 07-10-2015, 14:04   #6
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Re: Coumadin and Cruising

You might discuss the issue with your cardiac physician. There are other drugs that do much the same as Coumadin and may be more available at reasonable cost around the world. That way you can try them out to see if they work for you before leaving. Just a thought...good health, cheers, Phil
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Old 08-10-2015, 05:55   #7
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Re: Coumadin and Cruising

Righto skip mac. Not to minimize the situation but the cardiologist recommended an Inr tester which dings the budget but is less than I spent on a new halyard. Safety first!
I once stayed at a Holiday Inn Express then bought a boat, he he.


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Old 08-10-2015, 05:55   #8
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Re: Coumadin and Cruising

Thanks Capt Phil for advice.
Fair winds.


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Old 08-10-2015, 07:41   #9
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Re: Coumadin and Cruising

No worries, Rastamon... After checking with my better half who runs a local Coumadin clinic and works with a vascular surgeon, she tells me that Coumadin is available by prescription virtually everywhere in the world and getting testing done is also very common worldwide wherever there are labs. My concern would be to have on hand a sufficient supply and access to a physician to write scripts assuming they are required in the countries you will be visiting. She told me that Mexico and South American countries are all Coumadin users as well as the Med, Australia and much of the Far East. However, there may be some pockets, particularly in the Middle East and Africa that are not able to provide this basic wonder drug. Hope that clarifies my previous statement. Also, she mentioned that it might go under a different name of Warfrin. Hope that helps... Phil
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:39   #10
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Re: Coumadin and Cruising

Thanks Capt. Phil. I have a 90 day supply and am in contact with a pharmacia in Cozumel as well as Roatan. We have an ample supply of stiptic and assorted bandages just in case. Thanks again for helping to clarify my concerns.
Fair winds ⛵️🐬


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Old 08-10-2015, 15:26   #11
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Re: Coumadin and Cruising

Rastamon,
As an aside, have you sailed long distance while on Coumadin? We had an elderly passenger who sailed with us for two weeks while en route to the Bahamas. We were sailing offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and were about 8 hours from the nearest port--Marathon, Fl. He was resting below and when I went down to take a fix, it looked like a scene out of a horror film with blood all over the cabin, cushions and floor. He had scratched himself while asleep. We quickly tried to stop the blood with compresses, bandages and even towels but the bleeding was profuse. We were close to calling the CG when we finally got the bleeding down to a trickle. It took us 9 hours to get to the Fisherman's Hospital in Marathon before he was stabilized. I think, based upon our experience, it is necessary to have multiple contingency plans in place for any longer passages . . . especially in the area in which you intend to cruise. Good luck, good sailing and enjoy your time at sea.
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Old 08-10-2015, 15:40   #12
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Re: Coumadin and Cruising

You have a valid point, Rognvald, however, many of us sailed and cruised long past our sell by dates. No question we will all meet the grim reaper at some point but personally I would rather go out in a flaming Avalanche, hit a tree at 60 mph or drown in a ripper of a storm off some nondescript coast somewhere. As long as you have the stones to keep pushing the envelope, you will die happy and not in some hospital bed with tubes running out of you gasping your last breath. Sure... You should be prudent but life is to be grabbed and hang on. Go for it, Rastamon! Cheers, Phil
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Old 08-10-2015, 16:05   #13
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Re: Coumadin and Cruising

You don't need a stinkin blood tester--just whack your forearm with a hammer and note how big the red spot gets. Do that every two weeks and adjust the coumadin dose accordingly.

Better yet, switch to Plavix, which doesn't require testing. Its now off patent and is cheap as chips.
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Old 08-10-2015, 17:34   #14
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Re: Coumadin and Cruising

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You have a valid point, Rognvald, however, many of us sailed and cruised long past our sell by dates. No question we will all meet the grim reaper at some point but personally I would rather go out in a flaming Avalanche, hit a tree at 60 mph or drown in a ripper of a storm off some nondescript coast somewhere. As long as you have the stones to keep pushing the envelope, you will die happy and not in some hospital bed with tubes running out of you gasping your last breath. Sure... You should be prudent but life is to be grabbed and hang on. Go for it, Rastamon! Cheers, Phil
Agree completely, Phil! Seize the day!
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Old 08-10-2015, 17:48   #15
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Re: Coumadin and Cruising

I would recommend he get the INR tester. I am a big believer in adventure, but Coumadin is a tricky drug, and you want to die from the adventure and not some inadvertent overdose or underdose.
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