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Diabetes: Care of Blood Sugar Test Supplies

Topic Overview

Take care of your supplies so that you can test your blood sugar safely and get the most accurate blood sugar results. These results will be used to evaluate your treatment for diabetes.

  • Meters. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer about how to care for the meter. All meters can be damaged by being dropped or jarred and by exposure to very hot or very cold temperatures. Some meters need to be cleaned regularly and have their batteries changed periodically.
  • Lancets. Lancets must be thrown away safely after they are used. Do not put lancets into your household wastebasket or trash can; a used lancet might accidentally stick someone. Put your used lancets in a plastic container (such as a small, empty soda pop bottle or laundry detergent bottle) and seal it when it is three-quarters full. Check with your local trash disposal agency about how you need to dispose of lancets. Some agencies have special ways to get rid of this type of waste.
  • Strips. Protect the test strips from dampness and humidity. Do not store them in the bathroom. Replace the lid on the strip bottle immediately after you take out a strip for testing.

Note: Check your meter's accuracy by taking it with you when you have a blood sugar test done at the doctor's office or lab. Prick your finger (or your child's finger, if he or she has diabetes) and test the blood with your meter at the same time the lab test is done. If your meter is accurate, the results should be no more than 20% above or below the lab's results.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Last Revised June 24, 2013

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