blood monitoring device
Blood glucose monitoring is an important part of your diabetes care, especially if you are taking insulin.

Follow These Steps

items needed for blood glucose testing

  1. Prepare these items:

  1. glucose meter
  2. test strip
  3. lancet device
  4. needle (lancet)
  5. alcohol swab
  6. dry swab
  7. puncture-proof plastic container with a screw-on cap (e.g. shampoo container)

  1. Check to make sure:

glucose strip containers 
  1. the insulin and test strips have not passed their expiry dates
  2. you are using the correct type of batteries
  3. the box of test strips comes with a code key
  4. the code key number is the same as that on the box of test strips

  1. Calibrate the glucose meter:

glucose strips container and glucose meter 
  1. Insert the code key into the test strip slot.
  2. Check that the number appearing on the screen is the same as that on the box of test strips.

You must calibrate the glucose meter each time you open a new box of test strips.

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water:

close up of hand washing under a tap

  1. Prepare the lancet device:

lancet device instructions 
  1. Remove the lancet cover and put the needle in.
lancet device instructions 
  1. Remove the needle cap by twisting it. Do not touch the needle.
lancet device instructions 
  1. Replace the lancet cover carefully. Adjust the depth of your lancet device according to your skin thickness.
lancet device instructions 
  1. Prime the lancet device by pressing the release button (for some products, you need to pull and release the lever).

  1. Prepare the glucose meter:

glucose meter preparation 
  1. Remove test strip from the foil or from the test strip container. Insert it into the test strip slot and this will automatically turn the meter on.

  1. Test your blood glucose level:

blood glucose testing instruction 
  1. Wipe one finger (index, middle or ring) with an alcohol swap and let it dry.
blood glucose testing instruction 
  1. Press the lancet device firmly against the side of your finger.
blood glucose testing instruction 
  1. Push button to release the needle. Squeeze your finger to get a drop of blood.
blood glucose testing instruction 
  1. Touch the end of the test strip to the drop of blood.
blood glucose testing instruction 
  1. Apply a dry swab over the puncture site.
blood glucose testing instruction 
  1. Wait for the result to show on the screen. This is your blood glucose level.
blood glucose testing instruction 
  1. Record your result in your Blood Glucose Diary.

  1. Put away items safely:

end of blood glucose testing 
  1. Remove the lancet cover.
  2. Recap the needle before removing it. Throw the used needle into the plastic container and screw on the cap. Store needle container away from children and pets.
  3. Replace lancet cover and store away the glucose meter.
  4. Wash your hands again with soap and water.

If you are still unsure how to calibrate or use your glucose meter, talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

It may be a good idea is to bring your meter along with you to the clinic. Ask the healthcare provider to watch how you use the meter to test your blood glucose. Compare the meter result with that of the clinic laboratory result. If both values match or are very close, then your meter is working properly and your technique is correct.

Using a Glucose Meter (Video)

Video courtesy of SingHealth Polyclinics.

How Do I Choose a Meter?

There are many brands of glucose meters with a range of prices and features such as:

  • accuracy
  • ease of use
  • size of device
  • size of screen
  • amount of blood needed for each test
  • speed of testing result
  • ability to transmit results to a computer
  • memory (data storage)
  • after-sales support (e.g. calibration)
  • automatic electronic check that shows an error code if a problem is detected
  • automatic timing
  • spoken instructions or results

Your healthcare provider can help you learn more about the different brands of glucose meters and choose one that works best for you.

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