February 4, 2015

Blogger Bad Habits

I know I have some bad habits in writing about diabetes, as a reader reminds me of them. I make occasionally mistakes in medical terminology, but I have to be concerned when group like this one fails to follow editorial policy or at least enforce a good policy. With the errors appearing lately, the editor may be on vacation.

I am referring to this blog from January 27, 2015. I know the author should have used blood glucose meter for most of the blog in place of glucose monitor and uses the term monitor correctly when talking about continuous glucose monitor. A monitor does not use test strips.

The only thing I can figure out from this -Quote - “It will be easier on your pocketbook if the monitor you chose is popular. You will find the test strips everywhere with no trouble, often at lower cost because they are widely available.” - Unquote is that the author has unlimited funds and can purchase any test strips desired.

Most of type 2 diabetes and type 1 need to stay with the meter and test strips that are what the insurance provider will reasonably reimburse or pay. Each insurance company is different in their formulary and therefore what is popular may not be the brand that the insurance company will allow.

Quote - “Blood glucose monitor test strips are sealed in packs and vials. Keep the ones you are not using in their original packages.” - Unquote. The author may desire the containers to be sealed, but I have not found any that are sealed and I have never needed to break a seal to use them. I have had to open the box, then open the container lid, and carefully remove the first test strip.

Quote - “Make sure your hands are freshly washed before handling test strips, and be careful not to get the strips wet with water or alcohol. After using an alcohol wipe, let your finger dry before pricking it to get the drop of blood.” - Unquote. Yes, it advised by most test strip manufacturers to wash your hands and dry thoroughly and this is in the instructions that come with each box containing the container of test strips. Alcohol pads or wipes should only be used when water and soap in unavailable. Never rely on alcohol pads when you have been handling or cutting fruit or certain foods and you will receive very elevated readings. Only washing with soap and warm water will remove the sugar of fruit from your hands.

Using alcohol pads on your fingers during late fall to early spring is asking for cracked fingers and very painful testing. Alcohol dries out the skin and this is a serious problem.

This is the type of information we don't need. I have had several emails asking me what the information meant as they had not heard of glucose monitors requiring test strips. It is blood glucose meters that require test strips.

Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are very expensive and very few people with type 2 diabetes can have them approved for use, but a few do. Mostly they are used by people with type 1 diabetes.


Denise said...

I just ran upstairs to check my stash of test strips and it looks like all of the outer boxes have a seal on them so that might be something that just a few companies do since I don't remember having that with previous strips.

For the use of alcohol before testing, I hadn't heard that in years and years so I thought it had been debunked. Good old soap and water have always worked fine for me and if I don't have those then I probably don't have alcohol wipes handy, either.

The article seems well intended, but it's a good reminder for me to be very precise about what I write!

Bob Fenton said...

I agree that the article was well intended, but with this being the third article with errors in one week, I had to write about two of them.

I have written about alcohol pads or wipes before and I thought that with many others doing this, this would not be happening again - wrong.