June 29, 2007, Newsletter Issue #109: Getting an Adequate Fingerstick Blood Sample

Tip of the Week

At times, it can be difficult to get a good blood sample from a fingerstick, especially on a cold day, or if circulation is poor to the fingers. Here are some tips to help:

1) Rotate fingers: if a person always
gets a blood sample from the same
spot, a callus can build up and the
needle may not puncture adequately.
It is best to obtain a blood sample
slightly to the side and just
beneath the tip of the finger, not
on the tip directly, to prevent
2) Wash or soak the hand in warm
water just before monitoring: this
brings blood to the surface of the
3) Gently "milk" the blood into a round
drop, starting at the base of the
finger, and squeezing gently to the
4) Place the hand below hip level for
30 seconds to increase blood to the
hand and fingers or shake your hand
down to bring blood to the finger

Many of the newer monitors need less blood to get an accurate reading, and some actually wick a tiny sample into the sensor strip.

If none of these are consistently effective in getting a good sample, talk to your doctor about alternative sampling sites.

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