If you are diabetic and self-test your blood sugar levels, one of the most important parts of self-testing are the test strips. Test strips can be adversely affected by heat, humidity, exposure to the air, and temperature. These test strips must be cared for in a proper way to ensure you get an accurate blood sugar reading every time. Here are six important things to be mindful of when handling the strips.
1) Match the code on the meter to the code on the vial of strips if it is required. Do not touch the end of the test strip but just shake it into your hand from the vial.
2) Have clean, dry hands when opening the test vials to ensure that the strips remain uncontaminated and that they are still valid. Only take out the test strips one at a time when you are ready to use them since the vials or wrappers will help protect the strips for future use, keeping out moisture and debris that may affect the validity of the strips.
3) Do not leave the test strip vial uncapped and exposed to the air unnecessarily. The strips will fail to be accurate if they are open to elements of extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, or changes in the humidity.
4) Test strips are only usable for one test at a time so make sure you have a sufficient amount of blood to test and closely follow the instructions on how to apply the blood drop to the test strip in order to get an accurate result, as different brands may do this differently.
5) Some test strips are supplied on drums or in wheels, which is easier for handling for people suffering from any dexterity conditions. Just ensure that the strips are inserted properly according to the directions given.
6) Test the strips with the control solution or throw away the vial or package of affected strips if there is any contamination and use a new vial or package. Keep the test strips dry and at room temperature and not use strips that are too close to the expiry date or have already expired. Your test results will not be accurate if you use strips that have been compromised in any way.