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How to Do Blood Glucose Monitoring at Home

Updated on May 7, 2013

Knowing how to do blood glucose monitoring by your self is of great help among diabetics. This saves money and time from going to laboratories just to have an accurate reading of your blood glucose level. This is the actual process of getting blood glucose levels using personal blood glucose monitor or glucometer. This can be done anytime and anywhere you wanted to do it, especially in times of emergency.

Blood glucose monitoring is an important part of the treatment regimen of diabetics for its result determines the modifications of the treatment plan, including diet, exercise, and insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents use.

The purpose of this article is to guide newly diagnosed diabetics and immediate caregivers of diabetics to reinforce the blood glucose monitoring taught by the physician or in the health care facility. This is in step-by-step manner for better understanding.

To start with, before making any move in blood glucose monitoring, always start with preparing necessary materials to be used. This is to avoid prolonging the procedure and contaminating or putting unnecessary things that would alter the result of the reading. Some glucometers are very sensitive to blood samples that are used.


Materials Needed

1. Blood glucose meter or simply glucometer

2. Test strip (it should match the requirement code of the glucometer)

3. Disposable gloves (for care givers)

4. Alcohol swabs or cotton balls with alcohol

5. Clean tissue or dry cotton balls

6. Lancet of glucometer pen


The Procedure Proper

After completing the necessary materials near you, you may now proceed with the process following these basic steps:

1. Wash hands using soap and warm water. Warm water helps increase blood circulation inthe desired finger for pricking. This allows easy blood collection and prevents re-pricking of the site which brings pain and discomfort on the area.

2. Dry hands thoroughly. This prevents unwanted chemicals from soaps that would alter the reading. Some soap has chemicals that give falsely high readings of blood glucose level.

3. You may do initial alcohol wipes in the area to ensure that no minute infection would occur. If you are going to do this, make sure that the area is dry enough prior to pricking because alcohol, when incorporated with the blood sample, gives falsely elevated readings.

4. Don gloving. This is applicable to caregivers that are taking blood glucose monitoring to their clients, this is a precautionary measure that helps them avoid accidental contact with the blood.

5. Turn the glucometer on. Check for its functionality and calibration. There are some glucometers that are sensitive to strip codes. To make sure you are getting the right result, read the glucometer requirements and use the required strip code.

6. Insert the strip after the glucometer asked for its insertion. Asking for insertion signifies the readiness of the machine. Never attempt to insert the strip unless requested.

7. Warm the area while waiting for the glucometer to ask for a blood sample. You can do it by slightly massaging the area or milking the finger towards the desired pricking point. This promotes good blood circulation in the area, production of sufficient amount of blood as sample, and prevents re-pricking.

8. Slightly squeeze the area above the pricking point once the machine asked for a blood sample. Prick the area quickly and accurately, and then gather a drop of blood sample towards the designated part (collection area) of the strip.

9. Wipe off the excess blood in the finger using the prepared dry tissue or cotton ball. Never attempt to wipe off the strip even in the presence of excess blood, this will affect the result.

10. Allow sometime for the machine to read the result. Apply pressure on the pricked point while waiting for the result.

11. Remove the lancet and dispose properly to a collection container to avoid injuring anyone.

12. Remove gloves, wrap it, and dispose properly.

13. Read and document result.

Every diabetic monitoring their blood glucose level at home should have a “hardcopy” of their daily results. This is for them to have something to present during a routine check-up even when the glucometer or its memory malfunctions. Self-monitoring of blood glucose level is a sign of self-responsibility, something that every diabetic should develop.

The ideal treatment plan for diabetes mellitus is flexible for safer and more efficient use. Blood glucose monitoring is the foundation of an effective treatment regimen for this life-threatening disease.


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