Diabetes management is all about knowing your blood sugar numbers and a glucometer helps you do just that. Self-monitoring blood sugar at timed intervals as prescribed by the physician helps in keeping blood sugar under check. However, several factors influence the accuracy of the blood sugar readings despite your strides to strike a balance between the sugar readings and your lifestyle. Insufficiency of blood during self-monitoring is one of the primary reasons for the inaccuracy of the test results. Here’s a bunch of things that can help you in getting optimum results from your glucometer, read on.
1. Clean Sample Area:
Clean your hands with warm water and soap to improve blood circulation to get sufficient blood for the test. Avoid applying a disinfectant, a lotion or a cream, as this could distort the results.
2. Alcohol Swabs:
Use alcohol swabs to clean the prick site in case you don’t have access to soap or water. You can even use a sanitizer to clean the area. However, this is not required in case you have washed your hands with water before.
3. Dry Hands:
Dry your hands thoroughly to prevent the blood from being impacted by moisture or diluted by water. This helps in depositing the blood on the strip and ensure the accuracy of the readings.
Make sure you aren’t making these mistakes while checking your blood sugar levels.
4. Massage for Blood Circulation:
Do not rub or massage the prick site to get the right amount of blood because it causes haemolysis and impedes the flow of blood. Instead, gently massage your palm to improve circulation.
5. Choosing a Lancet:
Use a lancing pen with appropriate depth as per the thickness of the skin to get the right amount of blood. Typically, 2.2mm is the longest length used while pricking. Do not exceed the depth of 2.4mm to avoid deeper puncture.
6. Moderate Pressure:
Do not press the prick site too hard to light with the lancing device as it may cause pain, cause haemolysis and impact the accuracy of results. You would get a fair idea about the right pressure with consistent practice.
7. Device Calibration:
Wait till the device prompts to deposit the blood sample on the strip. This will help you express blood just at the time when it’s needed on the strip.
8. Right Usage of Strips:
Strips need to be stored at the right temperature, excess exposure to heat can cause irreparable damage resulting in inaccurate readings. Always check the expiry date of the strip before using.
9. Extra Blood:
Deposit the blood sample in one go. In case of insufficient volume, prick another site for fresh blood. Do not press the finger to get extra blood for the test, this will prevent contamination of the blood sample.
10. Storing the Glucometer:
Store your glucometer and its supplies at a safe and dry place in resealable plastic bags to prevent it moisture and other weather extremities like excessively high or low temperatures.