People with diabetes need to use a glucose meter to check and monitor blood sugar every day.
They need medical devices such as glucose meters and test strips that are regulated by the FDA.
It is important to know how to use these devices safely, and FDA experts provide several tips for that.
Follow the instructions carefully.
When you use your glucose meters and test strips, you should follow instructions of the devices.
The instructions are usually sold with the devices. If you have questions, call the manufacturer of your device or your health care provider.
Ask your doctor to watch you test yourself.
When you start using glucose meters and test strips, you can ask your doctor or health care provider to check if you do it correctly.
Check your device regularly for quality control.
You should regularly test your meter with a control solution to make sure the test strips and meter work normally together.
Read the meter’s instructions for use to see how often you should test it.
Understand the meaning of meter display.
When you check your own blood sugar levels, you should know how high and low glucose values are displayed on your meter.
For example, they may be displayed as “LO” or “HI” when the glucose level is beyond the range than the meter can measure.
Talk to your doctor if you have questions.
Know which test site can give the most accurate readings.
Research has shown that readings from other areas of your body may not be as correct as fingertip readings.
For example, readings from your forearm or palm can be less accurate than fingertip readings when your glucose levels change quickly after eating or during exercise.
Know when and how to clean and disinfect your glucose meter.
You need to follow the cleaning and disinfection instructions in your manual and do it properly.
Report device problems when it is necessary
For an emergency, you should call 9-1-1. For non-emergencies, the FDA encourages you to report any issues to MedWatch, the FDA’s voluntary reporting program.
Do not buy previously owned test strips
Some sellers are selling pre-owned or secondhand test strips to consumers with lower prices.
These are unused test strips previously owned by someone else. They may give incorrect results and may not be safe for use with devices.
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