Do you have a high blood glucose level? Do you have to monitor it on a daily basis? If yes, there must have been situations where you have fumbled with the test strips.
According to a government survey, there is a prevalence of close to 11.8% diabetic patients in India.
And if you are one of them and want to keep better care, you will have to follow these steps to come to the right testing mechanism.
- 1. Ensure that you have not purchased used Test Strips
- 2. Please store them properly
- 3. Do not reuse the strip
- 4. You just have to touch the edge of the strip
- 5. Know how to put it inside the Glucometer
- 6. Are You using the correct test strip?
- 7. Do not heat it for cleaning purposes!
- 8. Same Blood Group does not mean same Diabetes Test Strip
- 9. How to dispose of a Diabetes Test Strip?
- 10. Check Your Glucometer
1. Ensure that you have not purchased used Test Strips
These strips are the most important aspect of the glucometer, and you can just not screw it up. Hence, when you are buying a box you need to be very careful.
Firstly, you will have to check twice if the seal of the box is not broken. If it is a used box of strips, then, you must not use them at all. They have to be new, else, your glucometer may not work. There are also chances of you getting infected by a disease with used strips.
2. Please store them properly
Once you get your new box, storing them in the right place is also a necessity. Don’t take this step lightly. There are a lot of instructions available on the box and the label. However, the most important advice is not to keep in the open.
Keep it in an air-tight container and keep it at room temperature. An ideal place is to use a small pouch where the glucometer can also be kept. You do not have to keep it in the air-conditioned room or but keeping it away from direct sunlight will prevent them from damaging.
3. Do not reuse the strip
Once you are done using the strip, never store it. It is just like the tea leaves you use to make an early morning cup of tea. You cannot use those leaves, again. Hence, a new strip is mandatory for every check.
In this case, it will be wise to make a strict schedule for the month, so that you are never run out of it. Planning for the tests helps you to keep it handy and you can easily have an extra stock at your place.
4. You just have to touch the edge of the strip
Handling the strip while conducting a test has to be seamless. In this case, you do not have to panic if it is the first time. You simply have to prick your finger and touch it to the edge of the strip. Don’t fumble while doing this, or it will be put to waste.
They are small and finely thin. Thus, if you don’t hit the right spot, the results so generated might be faulty.
5. Know how to put it inside the Glucometer
Before you conduct a test, read the instruction manuals carefully. Usually, most of these have an arrow pointing to the correct end. Make sure you insert that end of the strip inside the Glucometer.
Once you have it in the glucometer, you will have to wait 2-3 seconds for the results to show.
6. Are You using the correct test strip?
Usually, they are universal, still, there are some glucometers, which may not support all kinds of test strips. However, Accu-check test strips are usually compatible with most glucometers. You can buy it from here.
You must select those that are compatible with most glucometers to avoid the loss.
7. Do not heat it for cleaning purposes!
If you are thinking of cleaning it before use due to certain reservations, don’t do it. You will end up rendering it completely useless. They come sealed in a box and are ready to use it just after opening it
Do not dip it in any solution, or heat water. All these things can lead to your test results being hampered and it may also make your glucometer faulty. Hence, no cleaning is required.
8. Same Blood Group does not mean same Diabetes Test Strip
There is a preconceived notion out there that if people have a similar blood group, they can use the same one. So, here’s breaking the myth for you. You cannot think of reusing the strips, even if the previous user had the same blood group.
They are made for use-and-throw, and it is meant to be thrown after use. Reusing the same may lead to a faulty test, and hampered results.
9. How to dispose of a Diabetes Test Strip?
Last but not the least, you have to think of ways in which you can throw the strip away. The best way is to have a disposable pouch where you routinely throw it away. You must not throw it away anywhere or else there will be a possibility of contamination.
10. Check Your Glucometer
At times, your glucometer may be faulty, too and you will only be blaming it for not working properly. Hence, if you want to be completely accurate, you need to check the Glucometer regularly.
What’s our recommendation? Whenever you go for a blood test, you can check the glucometer reading at that very instance. With this, it will help you to know by how much the glucometer differs from the actual blood test. You can also make an experiment of using various diabetes strips to check the reading against the same. This will help you in understanding if there are any flaws or not.
Over to you…
These are the seven ways in which you can make sure that the diabetes strips are used properly and the tests are being conducted in a systematic manner. This will also help you to maintain a routine so that any unusual rise or fall in your blood glucose level can be immediately reported to your doctor.