There is probably only one thing worse than having to draw your own blood to test your blood sugar – and that is repeating the test because of an error. Below are some useful tips to ensure an accurate reading the first time.
• Wash hands with warm, soapy water and rinse and dry thoroughly before testing. Even minimum amounts of food or soap residue can affect results.
• Clean your meter. You should clean it often and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Make sure you use the correct amount of blood. If the blood sample is not adequate, your meter may not read the glucose level accurately.
• Always use a new, fresh lancet.
• Check the test strip packaging to ensure that your test strips will work with your meter. Most meters require you to match the code on your meter with the code on your strip container.
• Periodically, check the date on your strips for freshness. Do not use test strips after their expiration date.
• Store your test strips properly so they do not deteriorate. Protect them from light, heat and humidity. Also, do not use test strips from a cracked or damaged container.
• To ensure that your meter is working properly, test it regularly with control solution, and keep extra batteries on hand.
• Take you meter with you on visits to your doctor and pharmacy. Compare your at-home results with the laboratory results.