Finger A1C Test???

By rbergman Latest Reply 2009-05-20 16:06:43 -0500
Started 2009-03-27 10:25:52 -0500

I wanted to know if anyone has had a finger stick A1C test done at their doctor's office or Endo's office? The last 2 times Laura was seen at her Ped Endo office and they take her in the lab to do a BGL finger stick they make sure to get enough blood from the site to do a finger stick A1C. I'm curious if anyone has had this type of A1C done and the accuracy of it versus the blood draw. Any and all comments welcome.
Also, on April 3 she has to have some blood tests done for her Thyroid condition and I asked them to add an A1C to the tests since they were going to be drawing anyway, they agreed and put it on the orders but said the finger stick ones they do are good enough, her first one was a 5.0 on Feb 6th and the one on March 20 was 5.9, which concerned them along with higher BGL readings although she is on medication. I felt the blood draw A1C would be more accurate so they did agree to add it to her other tests but only because I asked for it.
I should also mention this finger stick A1C gives them results in only 6 minutes.

23 replies

alwaystryin 2009-05-20 16:06:43 -0500 Report

Since we pay out of pocket for everything, we got a Home A1c testing kit. It is a finger stick test. Got the results from the lab three days after we sent it. I have nor had any issues. As far as variants and the reults, I don't know the answer…yet.


Frustrated mom
Frustrated mom 2009-03-30 15:49:24 -0500 Report

My son has always had finger sticks at his dr's appointment, but blood drawn in the hospital, I would think there would only be a mininal difference..I am gonna ask next visit.

2009-03-28 21:10:55 -0500 Report

Next time I'm at the endo's, I'll ask him about the finger stick A1C!

lipsie 2009-03-28 08:07:36 -0500 Report

Sorry I did not have the answer but I hope everything turns out. Keep us updated! Love ya! Sheila

Lisa Ann
Lisa Ann 2009-03-28 07:44:19 -0500 Report

My dr. does the finger stick A1C test every 3 months. I have had a blood drawn test 2 times when I was digonsed and about 6 mths ago.

Judimar 2009-03-28 03:21:15 -0500 Report

Hi Robin,

I've had the finger stick A1C twice at the dr's office. She always has me do the draw one too as well. I am not sure but maybe the draw one maybe a bit more accurate.

I don't blame you for wanting the blood draw A1C. Better to be cautious and you can then compare the two as well!



2009-03-27 22:42:37 -0500 Report

I'm not sure I would trust the number from a finger stick A1C, versus a blood draw, heck I don't even trust testing off the blood in my arm! If you get a nutty reading from the blood out of your arm, (arm stick), you have to do a confirmation stick from your finger anyway, so a double stabbing, fun huh?

Amy Togtman
Amy Togtman 2009-03-27 18:58:25 -0500 Report

I have had the finger stick A1C done before a couple of years ago but hadn't had one since. Not sure if the finger stick is as accurate as the blood draw but i get the blood draw every 3 months now my last one done in february was 5.8

2009-03-27 17:35:56 -0500 Report

I wondered that too Robin. I did the Reli One A1C test. I noticed after punching a hole through my finger (ouch) that it said to mail it within three days. Hum, I mailed it that day but if you did wait 3 days, say it takes 3 more days to get to the Reli On address and then it sits a few more days before they even test it? I too am curious how true the mail away test could be? Maybe somebody can tell me how long blood on a piece of paper is good for testing? Good question, Ang

rbergman 2009-03-27 17:40:54 -0500 Report

Hey Ang,
I'm not talking about the mail away one, but you do bring up a good question about its "shelf life". What I am talking about is a 6 minute A1C test they do on Laura from the same drop of blood they do a BGL on her with their meter at the office. I have only been able to see the part where the get the blood in this extremely skinny glass tube and then from there I can't see what they do with it, but I did ask them on Feb 6 what it was and she said an A1C test and when I asked how long before they had results she told me 6 minutes.
But again, like you, I now wonder what the "shelf life" of Home A1C tests are and if it effects their accuracy although it seems most doctors will accept the results as true results.

2009-03-27 17:42:29 -0500 Report

LOL, I guess I should read the entire discussion! Did you do the mail away A1C or have your doctor do it? Hugs

rbergman 2009-03-27 17:52:12 -0500 Report

I was going to do the mail away, but since it had been so long we decided to go with the one at the doctor first, she said I could use that mail away one the next go round. The one at her office was 9.9, not great but honestly better than I expected I was thinking along the lines of a 12.XX or higher.

2009-03-27 13:42:03 -0500 Report

I've had both tests and the doctors have never said there was a difference in the results. I'm sure there is but I'm sure it's minimal.


kdroberts 2009-03-27 11:10:52 -0500 Report

They are not 100% accurate but I believe the margin for error is around +/-0.2

rbergman 2009-03-27 11:13:28 -0500 Report

Thank you, I guess part of the reason I wanted the blood draw one done is because she hasn't had one since January, and I would really like to see for myself the comparison between the 2 types of test to ease my own mind. I would have never asked to have the blood draw one done if they weren't already drawing blood for other tests, but since they were I really didn't see any harm in asking for this test as well. It will be interesting to see the numbers.

kdroberts 2009-03-27 11:55:13 -0500 Report

You may find that one of the tests is not covered by the insurance. Most insurance companies limit an A1c to one every 90 days so if you have the one from the office done and the one from the lab done they may deny one of them. If they do, the one that filed the claim first will be the one they pay. If the lab one gets paid you may also be billed for the "surgery" the doctors office did to get the blood sample for the office A1c. It shouldn't be stupidly expensive but you may be looking around $50 or less if one is not covered.

Edit: If she had an A1c in January then both may be denied.

bigjrm45 2009-03-27 10:31:43 -0500 Report

I have had three of the finger A1c test 7.5 5.7 5.1 they all work good for me

rbergman 2009-03-27 10:58:22 -0500 Report

Do you still get the blood draw type A1C done? If so, are the numbers comparable or very different?

bigjrm45 2009-03-27 11:11:49 -0500 Report

no my blood draw was when I went into the hosp. and that one was a 12.5 A1c the rest where all finger test ,but next A1c I get I w will ask for the blood draw one, but to me blood is blood no matter where they take it from

rbergman 2009-03-27 11:17:40 -0500 Report

Thanks! I'm not sure about the blood is blood, some say a draw is better some say it's all the same lol

kdroberts 2009-03-27 11:51:55 -0500 Report

Well, blood isn't just blood. It is different depending where you take it from. A finger stick takes capillary blood and a draw takes vein blood. Also, the way they get processed is very different. Just taking blood glucose, with a finger stick the meter actually read whole blood glucose and the lab calculates plasma blood glucose. The meter will then use an equation to turn the whole reading to a plasma one. The lab will spin the blood sample so all the red blood cells are gone and they are left with clear/yellowish blood plasma.

bigjrm45 2009-03-27 12:28:12 -0500 Report

well heck I never went to med. school,but thanks for teaching me some thing new,thats why I said to me blood is blood ,so now I stand corrected,I think it time for me to enroll in some classesand learn more about my diabetes and my blood . have a nice day

rbergman 2009-03-27 12:31:32 -0500 Report

Now that you've said all of this, I believe it was one of your posts, Kd, that I had read before about the difference in blood from finger vs. from a draw. I knew I had seen it somewhere just wasn't sure who it was that had posted it before. Thanks for clarifying.

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