September 29, 2006, Newsletter Issue #72: Checking Glucometer Controls

Tip of the Week

Glucometer "controls" are performance tests that you complete on your glucose meter, to ensure that it is functioning properly.

When you first get your meter, you also receive from 1 to 3 bottles of control solution, depending the make and model of your glucometer. Your instruction book details how to complete the control testing, including how frequently you should check your meter.

Ideally, your glucose meter should be checked each time you begin using a new bottle of test strips.

To perform the control test:

1. Shake the control solution bottle to evenly distribute the glucose solution.

2. Turn on your meter or insert the strip, if it turns on automatically.

3. Apply a drop of the control solution to the test strip, just as you would apply a drop of blood.

4. Read the results, and compare them with the acceptable test range identified on the control solution package.

5. If the value is in range, your glucose meter is working properly. If the value is not in range, follow the instructions in your manual to troubleshoot your glucometer.

It is important to confirm the functioning of your glucometer because your treatment is based on your blood sugar readings. If the glucose values are not accurate, then your treatment will not be appropriate, either, putting you at risk for complications.

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