This article refers to the OneTouch® Ultra®2, for exact guidelines on using other OneTouch® meters please click here.
If you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be worried about having to take blood tests. However, most people get used to self-testing their blood glucose levels and find that it is not as bad as they had originally feared. You may be worried that constantly pricking your fingers to test your blood will result in a loss of feeling. Fortunately, there is no evidence for loss of sensation and the risk of infection from a finger prick is minimal. However, you shouldn’t borrow someone else’s lancing device, so always try to remember to take your own with you and avoid sharing it with other people.
A blood glucose meter is used for checking your blood glucose level at home or on the move. There are a variety of different meters available. Discuss with your diabetes healthcare team which meter would best suit you. Below is a step-by-step guide for how to take blood tests.
Getting to know your meter is very important, so make sure you read its instructions thoroughly. It is a good idea to practice with your new meter under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Wash your hands with soap and water before taking a blood test. This reduces the chance of the sample being contaminated. Use warm water if your fingers are cold. It is harder to draw blood from cold hands and they will also be more sensitive to finger pricking.
Choose a different finger every time you test. You may find that getting a sample from a different site is less painful. You could use your palm or forearm, although the results may differ from a fingertip reading. Talk to your diabetes healthcare team before you begin using different sites.
Prick the side of your finger, because it is not so sensitive and is less likely to bruise.
Gently squeeze and massage your fingertip until a round drop of blood has formed. If this is difficult, try hanging your hand down to allow more blood to run to your fingertips. If the blood smears or runs, do not use the sample. Dry the area and gently squeeze out another drop of blood or try a new site.
Place the blood on the test strip and put the strip into the meter, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Most meters have a built in memory to store your results. If your meter doesn’t have this facility, it is a good idea to record your results in a logbook.
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