Diabetes Testing Supplies
Other Supplies: Test Strips
All meters require test strips to operate—a small chemically treated strip that slides into the meter. After insertion, a drop of blood is placed on the opposite end of the strip that protrudes from the meter, and the meter reads the glucose level and displays the number on the screen.
Some monitors use test strip drums, which are self-enclosed spools of strips that automatically load without user intervention. Small children and adults who have difficulties with their fine motor skills may find this type of monitor easier to use.
If your monitor requires you to enter a code number provided on your test strip package each time you open a new box, it's important that you follow the instructions. You may also be required to insert a code chip from your test strip bottle into the meter. Or you may be able to press a button on the meter to code. When a monitor is miscoded, the test strips and monitor can't properly communicate with each other, and that may lead to readings that are off by more than 40 percent. If coding sounds confusing and time consuming, consider purchasing a newer monitor that automatically codes.
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Gone are the days of repelling Mission Impossible-like from the hospital ceiling to retrieve Charlie's medical files before the CDE entered our exam room. It's not that I don't care anymore about his A1c. Of course I care. Maybe in the past I was more consumed by it. For a very long time I so desperately wanted to see an A1c below 8. Now that we've been comfortably in the low to mid-7s for the last couple of years, there's just an expectation. It's become a little anticlimactic....