Information that Everyone Needs to Know about Glucose Testing

By SweetHeatherJ Latest Reply 2014-10-30 11:11:35 -0500
Started 2011-07-18 12:54:38 -0500

Have you ever pricked your finger or arm only to find that you have to squeeze and squeeze to get a blood droplet? If this ever happens to you, it is important to know that the blood droplet will give you inaccurate information. The meter will actually show you a "false-low".
What happens is when one works hard to squeeze out a sample the platelets aggregate and dilute the sample. This means the diluted sample has less glucose than is currently running through the blood stream. I have found 40mg/dl to 70mg/dl differences between a squeezed draw and a "normal" draw. Before I knew this I had occasions where I would use the hard-to-get sample, find that I am low (according to the meter), treat my hypo with the 15-rule, and then re-test only to find that my blood sugar is high. It's not surprising as I acted on incorrect information.
Now that I am aware of this potential iI have modified my regimen. I no longer waste a $1.25 strip when I know it's a "bad" draw. Instead I just re-prick another finger and use the "good" draw. This has saved me from acting on inaccurate information as well as saved me strips/money and lowered some of my frustration. :)
Hope this is useful!

36 replies

Barnet Love
Barnet Love 2014-10-30 11:11:35 -0500 Report

I've found that shortly before I test, I swing my "testing hand" in a circular motion, like a windmill. This makes it super-easy to get a good drop of blood.

What does everyone think this?

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-02-22 14:14:34 -0600 Report

Thanks for the info. Where did you get it from? Alot of us here like to go to the source and read it for oueselves:)

SweetHeatherJ 2012-02-22 15:04:40 -0600 Report

I LOVE that you want sources for information that is posted! As for this item, I learned this from a friend who is a type 1 CDE. I verified this with a Lifrescan glucometer senior representative.

Hueone 2012-02-22 13:11:37 -0600 Report

Super Info. i will check that cause my fingers have been hard to get blood and i have tried my palms and had to milk it. and my reading are lower than on my fingers. i want squeeze anymore.

Type1Lou 2011-08-26 18:21:26 -0500 Report

Wow! Thanks for info…after 35+ years with diabetes, I'm still learning, thanks to people like you!

SweetHeatherJ 2011-10-10 15:50:59 -0500 Report

Thanks for your response and showing our Diabetes Community that we all have more we can learn about living well with diabetes. Our Community os one of our greatest resources! :) Thanks to people like you!

eristar 2011-07-28 06:27:57 -0500 Report

Thanks! I knew that you were not supposed to squeeze, but not why. I rarely use my fingers - my meter suggests using palm or upper arms (unless a severe low is suspected), so usually I get a good drop right away, but when I was in the hospital they would use a finger and wipe away the first drop as Hiaras suggested.

ladymagnolia1963 2011-07-26 19:22:06 -0500 Report

This explains so many inaccurate readings that hubby and I have had over the yrs! And what you posted makes so much sense! We will not be "squeezing" for blood any more. Thank you for sharing this great information.

Hugs & Blessings~Donna

narniaslion 2011-07-21 21:11:41 -0500 Report

this happenes to me all the time i prick my finger then no blood . what can i do to get more blood?

SweetHeatherJ 2011-07-22 10:20:14 -0500 Report

Hi Mark,
Hope this finds you well. Well, from what I have read - you having type 1 since 1980, your fingers are probably like mine: covered with calluses. You may already do this, but since you asked I will tell you what I do. I wash my hands in hot/warm water, pre-"milk" my finger, select an area outside the callus and using a new lancet I prick my finger. I wait a couple of seconds before gently squeezing out a drop of blood. I was told by an educator to wait for my heart to take a beat before I "milk" out a droplet. If you have tried all of this and are still having prob;ems, you may consider using a bigger lancet. Once again, in case you are unaware, the smaller the gauge number, the larger the hole.
I would like to thank you for reaching out. Hopefully you find this information helpful.
Take care,

hiaras 2011-07-21 10:54:39 -0500 Report

Thanks for the info.. I always had to sqeeze to get a drop.. my healthcare people told me to wipe clean the first drop and go for the second drop to get a better reading.

cavie2 2011-07-21 04:46:09 -0500 Report

SweetHeatherJ that is the very reason my doctor, diabetic nurse and practice nurse gave me now I just rub my hands and fingers lightly before taking a sample and never squeeeze. lol

SweetHeatherJ 2011-07-21 10:40:39 -0500 Report

Wow! It sounds like you have got a great team! Most practitioners don't know this. I personally think meter reps should be telling the doctors and staffs about this. Thanks so much for sharing!

digitaldoorbell 2011-07-20 22:30:50 -0500 Report

This is very interesting and useful information; I always wondered about that. Actually, I don't really have that problem…I tend to bleed way too much but
it is something I always thought about.

Thank you

dietcherry 2011-07-19 19:34:52 -0500 Report

I didnt know any of this! Thanks so much! I dont encounter this problem as I am a "free bleeder" but you never know in the future… :)

Gimpalong 2011-07-18 23:38:19 -0500 Report

In the diabetic class that I took a couple of years ago, the instructor said that when it appeared that there was not enough blood coming to the surface, then do long strokes on the finger that was pricked. She called it "milking" the site. It doesn't have to be squeezed as much as when a person "squeezes it". I find that it doesn't cause my finger to bruise as much as when I squeeze too hard.

Shah49 2011-07-18 23:28:45 -0500 Report

I squeeze it most of the time when I feel it,s taking too long. Normally how long should one wait for the blood drop to appear. I always prick my small left finger and it does,nt come out as instantly as it used to. Should that be taken seriously Heather? Thanks for the information. I,m new to the community and I find it useful!

wes69 2011-07-18 21:07:25 -0500 Report

I didnt know this either and a lot of the tests Ive done have been from squeezed blood…thank you.

Cookie Roma
Cookie Roma 2011-07-18 19:32:57 -0500 Report

That's good to know. I used to have to force the blood all the time. Thankfully, it never happens anymore but I'm so glad to know that.

Next Discussion: breath of fresh air »