For people with diabetes, regular blood glucose monitoring can be an important part of blood glucose management. There are several methods of getting a blood glucose reading, including fingerstick blood tests using ablood glucose meteror using a sensor for 24-hour measurements, with acontinuous glucose monitor(MCG).
A fingerstick blood glucose test is the most common way people with diabetes can get information about how food, medications, physical activity, and other variables affect their blood glucose levels and how to behave. . Therefore, understanding how to correctly perform a fingerstick blood test and maintaining good testing habits is important for diabetes self-management. Here are some tips to help you get started.
- What is a fingerstick blood test?
- Common factors that can affect fingerstick blood glucose testing
- Steps for a fingerstick blood glucose test
- How to dispose of single-use test materials
- Frequently asked questions: Fingerstick blood glucose test
What is a fingerstick blood test?
The pumping of blood throughout the body carries a variety of essential nutrients that cells need, such as oxygen and glucose. A fingerstick blood test is a simple way to measure the amount of certain substances in the blood by pricking your fingertip and collecting a blood sample in a test strip or thin tube specially designed for laboratory testing. Only a small amount of blood is required for these convenient and simple tests.
Depending on the specific test being performed, a fingerstick blood test can be used to measure glucose, hemoglobin A1C, ketone, lactate levels, and more.
Why do people with diabetes use finger prick tests?
People diagnosed with diabetes have their blood glucose levels "self-monitored" with a personal blood glucose meter.blood glucose test strips🇧🇷 Taking a fingerstick test at home or on the go is a quick and inexpensive way to monitor blood glucose levels throughout the day and make necessary treatment decisions, such as medication. B. the insulin dosage to meet.
Fingerstick tests can also be performed by healthcare professionals to assist in blood glucose monitoring. This involves taking a drop of blood from the fingertip using a disposable fingerprint device for testing in a clinical care setting. The finger lancing device in these configurations can have a larger lancet, which can sometimes cause a little more pain than a thinner lancet used for home testing.
How is a fingerstick blood test different from a venous blood test?
In some situations, your doctor may recommend a blood test using a sample of blood from a vein, called a venipuncture. This procedure is different from a fingerstick test (which uses capillary blood from the fingertip) and is performed by trained doctors who draw blood from a vein in your arm.
The blood is then processed to remove the red blood cells so only the plasma is tested. Laboratory tests are performed on calibrated machines operated by trained laboratory technicians so they can provide the most accurate results.
Common factors that can affect fingerstick blood glucose testing
When testing blood sugar levels, there are several factors that can affect blood sugar levelsprecisiona fingerprint test that includes:
- temperature, humidity and altitude
- Location of the test site, e.g. B. Fingertip versus forearm
- Expired or damaged test strips
A few factors are related to the fingerstick method and provide simple solutions to improve the accuracy of your results. Consider these factors for your next test:
Residue on unwashed fingers
When performing a fingerstick blood test, the first surface the lancet touches is the outer layer of skin; this is also where the drop of blood is taken. Any food or substance that leaves residue on your fingers, such as Items such as lotions or invisible food particles can interfere with the blood sample and potentially affect your blood glucose reading.
ÖCenters for Disease Control and PreventionThe CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and warm water and drying them thoroughly before pricking your finger. Making this a part of your testing routine will go a long way in improving the accuracy of your results.
insufficient drop of blood
It is necessary to produce a drop of blood that completely fills the sample area of a blood glucose test strip in order for the system to calculate your results correctly. Some people have no problem getting a drop of blood for a fingerstick test, while others sometimes find it difficult.
If you have this problem, there are solutions you can try to make it easier. It's important to remember that while it's tempting to press directly on the puncture site, you should avoid pressing near the test site if a drop of blood is forming. This can allow interstitial fluid, the fluid that surrounds cells, to get into the blood sample and affect the test result.
Here are some tips to help produce a drop of blood when you're not getting enough blood for your glucose test. Check if any of these possible causes could be affecting your finger stick and learn how to fix the problem.
- Possible Cause:The hands are cold.Solution:Warm your hands in lukewarm water, wash and dry thoroughly before testing.
- Possible Cause:Poor circulation.Solution:Drop your hand and tap or swing your hands and arms to get the blood flowing.
- Possible Cause:The depth of the spear is very shallow.Solution:Many lancing devices have adjustable settings to control the depth of the lancet. Adjusting the device to a deeper setting can help create a larger drop.
- Possible Cause:The lancet caliber is very thin.Solution:The lancet needle may be too small to penetrate calloused hands or successfully produce a large enough drop of blood in certain individuals. Try experimenting with a lancing meter that works best for you.
- Possible Cause:Reuse of a lancet.Solution:If you are not used to changing the lancet frequently, the lancet tip may become dull and result in a less successful finger prick. Use a new lancet for each test.
4 steps to performing a finger prick blood glucose test
The most common way diabetics measure their blood sugar is with a personal blood glucose meter. First, gather all the supplies you need to measure your blood sugar, including:
- blood glucose meter
- Lancing device and lancet (to gain a drop of blood)
- test strips
- Batteries for blood glucose meter (usually included)
If you are new to or experienced in monitoring your blood glucose, it may be helpful to follow the key steps to improving best practices. You might even find a small tweak you can make that will transform your testing experience.
Step 1: Prepare your lancing device
ALanceadoris used in combination with aLanzetteprick the test site, causing a drop of blood to form. Fingersticks and lancets are intended for use by one person; CDC warns against sharing lancing devicesRisk of transmission of bloodborne pathogens.
Insert a new lancet into your lancing device and prime the device according to the manufacturer's instructions, ready for use. It is recommended to use a new lancet for each test. A used lancet can become blunt after repeated use. This can cause discomfort and increase the risk of infection.
Some lancing devices also have a depth selection knob that can be adjusted to the most comfortable setting for creating a drop of blood.
Bribery:Using a new lancet and a smaller needle can help reduce pain. The smaller the number of stitches, the larger the needle.
Step 2 - Choose a test site on your finger
When testing blood glucose, fingerstick tests provide more accurate results than palm or forearm tests due to the physiological differences between these sites. The use of a fingerstick blood sample is recommended byFood and drug management(FDA) at times when your blood glucose may be changing rapidly, or when using the result to calibrate a continuous blood glucose meter or to dose insulin.
Choose a spot on the finger that is on the fingertip side, avoiding the nail and scarred areas. Make sure you switch fingers with each test and switch sides as well. This can help reduce the chance of scarring.
Bribery:Testing on the side of the fingertip may be more convenient than pricking the fingertip (middle). This can also help reduce the risk of infection since the fingertips touch many surfaces but the sides don't.
Step 3: Clean the test site
Wash your hands with warm, soapy water before doing the finger prick test. Make sure they are dry as any water droplets on your finger can affect your blood glucose reading. If you usually have trouble forming a drop of blood, you can run your hands under warm water when washing or massaging your finger to help blood flow.
Bribery:Using alcohol swabs can dry out the skin and make it difficult to get a drop of blood. This can affect your test results. If you can wash your hands with soap and water, opt for this hand washing method and only use an alcohol wipe if that option is not available.
Step 4: Apply the blood sample to the test strip
Before you prick your finger, prime the meter by inserting a new test strip according to the manufacturer's instructions. Do not apply blood to the test strip until the meter turns on and the test screen appears.
Once the meter is ready, apply light pressure to the test site with the lancing device loaded with a lancet and press the trigger to prick your finger.
Make sure the drop of blood is large enough to fill the test strip and bring the blood sample to the test strip. Most test strips quickly absorb blood from the sample area within a few seconds. The meter can provide a visual or audible indication of when to remove the finger after sufficient blood has been applied.
For more information on checking your blood sugar levels, go tohow to measure blood sugarArticle.
Bribery:When collecting the blood sample on the test strip, avoid wiping or splashing blood outside of the designated sample area. Only the edge of the test strip with the sample area should come into contact with the blood sample.
How to dispose of single-use test materials
Some of the materials you use to test your blood glucose are for single use only and should be disposed of safely to prevent others from coming into contact with used and potentially harmful materials. It is important to dispose of carefully:
- Needles, for those who inject insulin
- test strips
For home storage of used test materials, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends obtaining an FDA-approved certificate.Sharps disposal container🇧🇷 They are usually available in pharmacies, healthcare providers, medical supply stores or online. Some local regulations permit the use of alternative disposal containers such as B. An empty detergent bottle made of durable plastic with a tight, puncture-resistant and leak-proof cap.
When your sharps container reaches the "Full" mark or is three-quarters full, dispose of it in accordance with your local biohazard regulations. Some municipalities have drop-off locations, special drop-off services, or return programs. Contact the FDA for more informationArticlefor safe disposal of used needles and sharps.
After the test is complete, place disposable test materials in a sharps container immediately to reduce the chance of poking you or others with a loose lancet or needle. Some lancets come with safety caps to cover the exposed needle during the removal and disposal process. Safety covers should be used when you do not have immediate access to a sharps container.
Frequently asked questions: Fingerstick blood glucose test
Measuring your blood sugar at home with a blood glucose meter can be easy and convenient, but it is not uncommon for questions to arise. Here are some frequently asked questions about taking a fingerstick test, answered by our Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES):
Q. If my number doesn't match my symptoms and I need to retest, should I use the same site to draw another drop of blood?
A.Do not do it. Prick another finger to obtain a fresh whole blood sample without mixing in extra liquid due to excessive compression.
Q. How often can I use my lancet?
A.Change the lancet every time for a comfortable test and to reduce the risk of infection.
Q. Can I use alcohol to clean a reuse lancet?
A.Do not do it. Lancets are coated with a protective antibacterial coating that can be removed using alcohol. Do not attempt to clean and reuse lancets.
Q. I have a favorite finger to prick that seems to hurt less than the others. Is it okay to stick the same finger on all tests?
A.For best results, rotate your fingers and use each side of each finger to test. Fingertips can become dry, cracked, and calloused from frequent blood glucose testing. You can also use a lotion specially formulated for people undergoing fingerstick tests. Ask your doctor for a recommendation.
Q. Do I need to use a lancing device? I like to stick my finger in the lancet.
A.It is not necessary to use a lancing device. You can use a new, clean lancet and check the stick yourself. Lancing devices are designed to provide varying depths of finger pricks for comfort, but you do not have to wear them.
A finger swab test is an easy way to check your blood sugar levels in the comfort of your own home. Practicing good fingerstick testing habits can help reduce factors that can affect the accuracy of your blood glucose readings and can make your testing experience more enjoyable. These habits can be as simple as washing your hands with soap and water before each test, changing your testing finger, or changing your lancet after each use.
If you're having trouble changing your testing habits, try to focus on one at a time. Once you get the hang of it, select a second and so on. In the long run, with a few small changes to your routine, you can have less frustration and a smoother testing experience.
Hold the finger in an upward position and lance the palm-side surface of the finger with proper-size lancet (adult/child). Press firmly on the finger when making the puncture. Doing so will help you to obtain the amount of blood you need. Cap the Microtainer® and gently invert it 10 times to prevent clots from forming.Why is it important to wipe away the first drop of blood after a finger stick? ›
Wipe away the first drop of blood because it may be contaminated with tissue fluid or debris (sloughing skin). Avoid squeezing the finger or heel too tightly because this dilutes the specimen with tissue fluid (plasma) and increases the probability of haemolysis (60).Which is the most appropriate finger for a fingerstick? ›
Note: The best locations for finger sticks are the 3rd and 4th fingers of the non-dominant hand. Do not use the tip of the finger or the center of the finger. Avoid the side of the finger where there is less soft tissue, where vessels and nerves are located, and where the bone is closer to the surface.What are the tips for using lancet? ›
Before puncturing your finger, hold your hand downward and gently shake it for several seconds, to promote blood flow to the fingertips. Place the tip covering the lancet on the side of your fingertip to avoid making the frequently used part of your finger sore. Press the button to discharge the lancet.What is the order of draw for fingerstick? ›
During a finger stick, the puncturing of the skin immediately begins the clotting process, so it is necessary to work quickly and accurately to fill EDTA or lavender tubes first, then fill the other tubes containing additives, leaving the other tubes that allow clots for last.Why only middle and ring finger is used for pricking? ›
The middle or ring finger is preferred as having the greatest depth of tissue beneath the skin and hence offering the least chances of injury. The thumb or index finger may be more likely to be calloused or scarred, as well as being much more sensitive, making the procedure more painful.When should a fingerstick not be performed? ›
NOTE: Fingersticks should not be performed on infants younger than 6 months of age due to the short distance between the finger bone and the skin surface. A. Clean the chosen puncture site with alcohol and allow the site to thoroughly dry.Do you wipe the first drop of blood when checking blood sugar? ›
The first drop of blood can be used for self-monitored glucose testing, but only after washing hands. If washing hands is not possible and they are not visibly soiled or exposed to a sugar-containing product, it is acceptable to use the second drop of blood after wiping away the first drop.When performing a fingerstick the appropriate area to make the puncture is? ›
When performing a fingerstick, the phlebotomist should puncture either side of the fleshy pad of the middle or ring finger, but not the extreme side of the finger. The exact center of the fleshy pad or the tip of either finger should also be avoided.How accurate are finger stick blood tests? ›
Even though it's comparable, the fingerstick method can be slightly less accurate (national guidelines allow for a variance of +/- 8.9% for cholesterol) than a venipuncture blood draw. It's important to remember that fingersticks done during a wellness screening are not intended to be diagnostic.
There are two main types of fingerstick devices: those that are designed for reuse on a single person and those that are disposable and for single-use.How much blood can be collected from a finger stick? ›
A “fingerstick” is a minimally invasive procedure using a lancet to draw a drop or two of capillary blood from a finger. It's also called finger-prick sampling or blood microsampling. Using the fingerstick method, 5-30 ul of blood can be collected from a fingertip for lab analysis.How many times can you use the needle in a lancet? ›
A. Finger-stick blood samplers (lancet devices) are used to obtain blood for testing blood sugar (glucose). These devices consist of two parts: a “lancet holder” that looks like a small pen; and a lancet, which is the sharp point or needle that is placed in the holder. The lancets are only ever used once.How do you get enough blood from lancet? ›
Improve blood flow to the fingers by warming them. Lower hands below your waist level and gently massage the selected finger before obtaining blood. Press the lancing device firmly against the side of your fingertip. After lancing, massage your finger towards the tip to encourage a blood drop to form.How many times can I reuse a lancet? ›
Officially, all lancets are single use.What are the 7 blood drawing steps? ›
- Assemble equipment. ...
- Identify and prepare the patient. ...
- Select the site. ...
- Perform hand hygiene and put on gloves. ...
- Disinfect the entry site. ...
- Take blood. ...
- Fill the laboratory sample tubes. ...
- Draw samples in the correct order.
- Patient identification.
- Filling out the requisition.
- Apply tourniquet and palpate for vein.
- Sterilize the site.
- Insert needle.
- Drawing the specimen.
- Drawing the specimen.
Place a tourniquet (usually a stretchy, rubber band) around a location, usually on your arm. Identify a vein and clean the area off with an alcohol wipe. Insert a small, hollow needle into the vein. You should see blood coming through the needle and into a collection tube or syringe.Which finger is best for capillary collection? ›
Finger - Usually the third or fourth finger is preferred in adults and children. The thumb has a pulse and is likely to bleed excessively. The index finger can be calloused or sensitive and the little finger does not have enough tissue to prevent hitting the bone with the lancet.Which finger is best for blood sugar? ›
Recommended finger: the World Health Organisation recommends the middle or ring fingers are used for blood glucose tests (second and third fingers). You may want to avoid using your little finger due to the skin being thin.
Handy tip: Stand up for the whole process — gravity helps your blood to flow. It can also help to swing your arm around as this gets the blood flowing. Push the lancet firmly on your finger until you hear a click.What are the complications of finger stick? ›
Chief among the risks is exposure to bloodborne pathogens, particularly hepatitis B. "In finger-sticks, the blood flowing freely from the site of the puncture exposes both the healthcare worker taking the sample and the environment to blood-borne infectious agents that the patient may have," noted Sharon M.What tests should not be done by capillary sticks? ›
Capillary punctures are not suitable for blood culture testing and most coagulation tests.What are conditions that are not appropriate for fingerstick glucose testing? ›
Patients whose hands are swollen, cold, cyanotic, or edematous are not good candidates for fingerstick (capillary) glucose testing.What food washes out sugar from blood? ›
Increase Your Protein & Fat Intake
Eggs, peanut butter, beans, legumes, protein smoothies, fatty fish, and nuts are all high in protein. An increase in healthy fat intake also helps in sugar detox.
The dawn phenomenon is an early-morning rise in blood sugar, also called blood glucose, in people with diabetes. The dawn phenomenon leads to high levels of blood sugar, a condition called hyperglycemia. It usually happens between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m.Why is my blood sugar high in the morning when I haven t eaten anything? ›
The dawn phenomenon
In the early hours of the morning, hormones, including cortisol and growth hormone, signal the liver to boost the production of glucose, which provides energy that helps you wake up. This triggers beta cells in the pancreas to release insulin in order to keep blood glucose levels in check.
Excessive massaging or squeezing of the puncture site should be avoided in order to prevent hemolysis, contamination of the blood with interstitial and intracellular fluid, and obstruction of blood flow.How long should a capillary puncture site be warmed? ›
NOTE: Warming the skin-puncture site with a warm moist cloth, or a heel warming device, for 3 minutes can increase blood flow through the site. Allow the heel to air dry.Why is it important for the lancet to be positioned to cut across the fingerprint rather than parallel to them? ›
This enables the blood to form as a drop on the fingertip. If the puncture is parallel to the lines of the fingerprint, the blood will not form as a drop but will run down the finger making correct collection impossible.
Glucose determination by fingerstick may be inaccurate in patients with shock (1), severe hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia (2), low or high hematocrits (3), extreme temperature (4), and low oxygen tension (5).How accurate is a finger stick hemoglobin? ›
Fingerstick is considered a useful estimator of venous Hb. However, in some donor groups, particularly female donors with AIS, fingerstick overestimates venous Hb at the donation cutoff. This significant limitation should be considered in setting donor fingerstick Hb or Hct requirements.How long does a finger blood test take? ›
in total the procedure takes about 15 minutes, but there are a number of things that you'll need to remember when carrying out a finger prick blood test.What blood tests can be done with a fingerstick? ›
These convenient, easy tests only require a small amount of blood. Depending on the specific test being performed, a finger stick blood test can be used to measure glucose, hemoglobin A1C, ketone, lactate levels, and more.What are the advantages of finger pricking? ›
The main advantage of finger prick blood tests is related to their ease of use, which means that people can do them at home. Venous blood tests are done by a trained professional, meaning to have your blood tested, you need to go to a practice or clinic.When collecting blood by fingerstick it is important to wipe away the first drop? ›
Wipe away the first drop of blood because it may be contaminated with tissue fluid or debris (sloughing skin). Avoid squeezing the finger or heel too tightly because this dilutes the specimen with tissue fluid (plasma) and increases the probability of haemolysis (60).What is the normal range for a finger stick? ›
If you had a fasting blood glucose test, a level between 70 and 100 mg/dL (3.9 and 5.6 mmol/L) is considered normal. If you had a random blood glucose test, a normal result depends on when you last ate. Most of the time, the blood glucose level will be 125 mg/dL (6.9 mmol/L) or lower.Does squeezing finger affect blood sugar reading? ›
On average, blood sugar readings were lower when people put pressure on the finger. The finding, according to the researchers, is in line with advice to avoid firm squeezing of the tested finger.What size lancet hurts the least? ›
Best least painful lancing devices to buy
The 30-gauge needles are strong but thin to reduce discomfort and pain. You can use this lancing device on your finger or elsewhere on the body.
“When testing on your finger, use only the sides of your finger, where there's better blood flow, and not the pad of the finger," says Hector Verastigui, RN, CDE, clinical research coordinator at the Texas Diabetes Institute in San Antonio.
- Drink a glass of water. ...
- Shower before you collect your sample, or run your hands under warm water for a few minutes, as heat improves blood flow.
- Do some light exercise (move around, go for a walk, etc.) to get the blood flowing.
- Hydrate. Dehydration increases the risk that your vein will collapse during a blood draw. ...
- Avoid caffeine. As a diuretic, caffeine forces fluids into the kidneys and constricts the veins.
- Stay warm. ...
- Walk briskly and shake hands vigorously. ...
- Do arm curls. ...
- Schedule the visit later in the day. ...
- Sit very still. ...
Improve blood flow to the fingers by warming them. Lower hands below your waist level and gently massage the selected finger before obtaining blood. Press the lancing device firmly against the side of your fingertip. After lancing, massage your finger towards the tip to encourage a blood drop to form.Is it OK to use the same lancet more than once? ›
A. Finger-stick blood samplers (lancet devices) are used to obtain blood for testing blood sugar (glucose). These devices consist of two parts: a “lancet holder” that looks like a small pen; and a lancet, which is the sharp point or needle that is placed in the holder. The lancets are only ever used once.What is the correct site of Heelstick and fingerstick? ›
6 -12 months: lateral or medial planter surface of the heel is the preferred site, big toe or finger may be used Finger puncture capillary blood sampling is obtained from the lateral surface of finger near finger tip away from the nail bed. Puncture should occur across the fingertip, not parallel to it.What is the procedure code for blood glucose levels by fingerstick? ›
CPT code 82962 (glucose, blood by glucose monitoring device[s] cleared by the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] specifically for home use) is reported when testing is performed using an FDA-cleared device designed for home blood glucose monitoring use.How do you take glucose Fingersticks? ›
Fingerstick Testing Glucose Meters
Each meter needs a blood sample that is usually obtained by pricking your finger with a lancing device. The sample is placed on a test strip that has been inserted into the meter and analyzed by the meter.
Fingerstick or finger-prick sampling involves taking a minimal amount of blood from the patient, usually from the fingertip. Fingerstick sampling is over quickly and requires very little preparation, which helps to reduce stress and anxiety in patients, particularly in children and nervous adults.
Finger - Usually the third or fourth finger is preferred in adults and children. The thumb has a pulse and is likely to bleed excessively. The index finger can be calloused or sensitive and the little finger does not have enough tissue to prevent hitting the bone with the lancet.What tube is drawn first for capillary stick? ›
The order of draw is based on CLSI Procedures and Devices for the Collection of Capillary Blood Specimens; Approved Standard - Sixth Edition, September 2008. This standard recommends that EDTA tubes be drawn first to ensure good quality specimen, followed by other additive tubes and finally, serum specimen tubes.
“When testing on your finger, use only the sides of your finger, where there's better blood flow, and not the pad of the finger," says Hector Verastigui, RN, CDE, clinical research coordinator at the Texas Diabetes Institute in San Antonio.What are the steps that the nurse will take when measuring the glucose level via finger stick of a patient? ›
Massage towards the fingertip to obtain sufficient amount of blood. Place a drop of blood against the tip of test strip. Apply dry swab over the punctured site. Wait for reading on the glucose meter.What is the difference between a finger stick and a venipuncture for glucose? ›
A test by a trained professional results in a sample that's much less likely to be affected by haemolysis, or clotting. Compared to capillary blood that you get from a finger prick test, venous blood is more likely to give correct readings for important biomarkers like full blood count, glucose and calcium iron.Do you wipe the first drop of blood for glucose? ›
The first drop of blood can be used for self-monitored glucose testing, but only after washing hands. If washing hands is not possible and they are not visibly soiled or exposed to a sugar-containing product, it is acceptable to use the second drop of blood after wiping away the first drop.What should the patient do prior to doing a self fingerstick blood glucose test? ›
Wash your hands with soap and warm water before performing a finger stick test. Be sure they are thoroughly dry, as leftover water droplets on your finger may affect your blood sugar reading.How accurate is fingerstick glucose? ›
Per FDA guidelines, a fingerstick blood testing device is expected to deliver readings with 95% accuracy2.
You'll feel ridiculous, but this method really helps the blood flow. If your hands aren't completely dry at this point, use a towel, as wet hands can result in a falsely low reading. Once your hands are warm and dry, use the lancet on the side of your “favorite” finger.