Do you know why / Did you notice that...

By Ryan Latest Reply 2008-08-30 18:25:15 -0500
Started 2008-08-28 22:20:39 -0500

…the strips in the test strip containers have the open end(the side that takes the blood in facing outwards for us to grab? I can see a certain logic. You grab the strip and stick it in the meter like that, but doesn't that increase the chances of contamination and incorrect readings by people touching the area where the blood's supposed to go? I know it's easier that way. But, my agamatrix strips, are the other way around. I grab the side that goes into the meter and turn it around without touching the open end and slide it into the meter. Cleaner, and no possible contamination of the entry point.
At least one company may share my views as they put their strips in the case the opposite way of everyone else.
I want my readings to be as accurate as possible and if doing it the old way can cause inaccurate or inconsistent readings, I'd rather have all strips "upside down". Or maybe I'll put on a glove and get the whole bunch and turn them around.
I've thought about it before but when I got my new Agamatrix meter and opened the bottle of strips, it kind of confirmed my suspicions, that it's possible to contaminate the blood entry point. But at the same time, they could just put their strips in that way for no particular reason. I know it's a tiny thing to notice but I notice everything.
Am I being too Anal/particular?
What do you think of this subject? Any comments?
Do you think Agamatrix put their strips "ass end out" for a particular reason?
Do you think it having it the current way increases chances of contamination and therefore increasing the chances of inaccurate readings?
Any comments would be appreciated even if you call me/or think I'm being dumb for saying all this, I'd like to hear what anyone has to say.

Thank you for any replies, good or bad.


13 replies

butterfly_8 2008-08-30 05:26:05 -0500 Report

Again I guess it is an individual thing. However I would rather mine was reversed. It would make it easier to remove and insert instead of reversing it to put into meter.
I am holding meter in right hand and strip in left hand to insert and have to reverse end causes for confusion and sometims fumble..

tmana 2008-08-30 05:12:21 -0500 Report

It may depend on the meter. Freestyle strips are meter-entry side up, blood goes in on the side edge of the strip (but the end away from the opening). One Touch also puts the electrode side on top, as do Advocate and (as you mentioned) Agamatrix. Of my meters currently under test (I'm doing some side-by-side reviewing/testing, on my TuDiabetes blog at, only the Aviva's strips are packaged end-sip test-end towards the vial's top/opening.

Ryan 2008-08-30 06:08:02 -0500 Report

Funny, all my One touch Ultra strips were test end out. Oh well.

Interesting you doing a meter comparison, as I am doing the same as well. I'm trying to find a new daily use meter since my old Aviva was acting up, so I bought 3 new meters and I got one more meter on the way which I will add to my test when I get it. It's not totally scientific except I do;
Wash my hands first
Insert the test strips in all the meters,
Lance and draw a good sized drop of blood
and test all the meters on the same drop within second of each other.
Record my results
If one meter gives me a reading that's far off of the others,
I repeat the entire thing again and record my results again making a special note which meter gave me the off reading.
Usually, the second time around will give me consistent results across all three meters.
At the end of the test, I plan to use the meter which gave me the least "off" readings.
FYI I did take one of the new meters with me to my latest lab test and got results within a few points of the lab. So when I tested the other meters, I'm just assuming that since all the meters have given me results close to the "test" meter, that they're all pretty accurate. Since they're obviously capable of accuracy, I'm testing their consistency, since inconsistent readings is what will cause me to have to retest and waste my time, and for others on insulin, an inconsistent reading could cause someone to give themselves a dose of insulin based on a wrong reading (usually higher than what it actually is).
When I do get the next meter, I'm not quite sure if I will just add it into the mix and extend the test or finish my test and just compare the new meter with the "winner" of the test. I really have to think about that because I did have to buy 300 strips for each meter, 900 strips total because I test 10x a day,and this was supposed to last month, and I'm not sure I want to spend any more money on strips since I am not a man of means(Social Security Disability).
we'll see what happens…


tmana 2008-08-30 11:10:35 -0500 Report

I'm doing a smaller set of samples (bought 50 strips per meter). I know my regular Freestyle Flash was spot-on the lab reading in June. I'm doing pretty much the same thing you are doing, except that I'm not repeat-testing for one-off-number. I'm analyzing everything in an Excel spreadsheet. So far I've found one meter I would NOT recommend — it is combined with a blood pressure cuff which does not read correctly.

Ryan 2008-08-30 13:22:07 -0500 Report

are you doing one touch meters? i've found in the past that they're nowhere near my lab readings. I don't like lifescan products at all. ive tried several including the mini,ultra, ultra2, ultrasmart. all junk if you ask me. but if i had to choose one, i would pick the mini. I like the freesyle for it's accuracy but as far as testing goes, you'd think that since it needs such a small sample, it would be faster to respond after touching the strip to the blood drop. As far as consistency, so far its a lot better than the aviva I'm testing and worse than the presto, which had ZERO "off" readings so far. Hmmm…i guess that dynamic electrochemisrty has some real science behind it huh? What other meters are you testing?
So far what meter looks like it stands above the rest? or do you want to keep it a secret until you;re done. Also, I assume you're looking for consistency as well, and trying to weed out the ones that send out the most false readings. Am correct? Got a link to your blog. I think I'll do that when the X-Meter arrives and I compare it to the 'winner" of my current test.

tmana 2008-08-30 15:15:47 -0500 Report

I started with my active Freestyle Flash, the new Freestyle Lite, Accu-Chek Aviva, One Touch Ultra2, One Touch Ultra Mini, Agamatrix Keynote, Advocate Duo. I recently added in a One Touch Ultra Smart to play with the data settings. So far, the Freestyle Flash always reads the lowest of the batch, the Keynote always reads the highest. If I were to presume all the meters are within the stated 10% of labs, then the average of all the meters should be pretty much spot-on to labs (this is an assumption at the moment). Based on that, the Aviva has (so far) the least deviation. The Freestyle Lite is the only non-coded meter in the batch; it is also the fastest from strip-in to "apply blood".

I don't have good readings from cold or hot environments, as this summer has been pretty temperate. I haven't done contaminant tests yet (balsamic vinegar will affect my readings no matter how many times I wash my hands!) and I haven't checked out the software and connectivity yet.

Ryan 2008-08-30 18:25:15 -0500 Report

hmm..the aviva has the least… for me it has the most and I have three of the aviva's. well, it;s the meter that most often throws out the "way out there" numbers.

Ryan 2008-08-29 16:34:05 -0500 Report

you know when you first open the bottle? its kind of tight to get a finger in there and you really don't want to partially dump it out, so I'm sure a lot of readings can get thrown off since you have to handle the "testing" side. Id rather them all be test side down so there's no worry about coming into contact with the testing side. Oh well, the companies must be confident that it won't be contaminated the way it is now, except for one company so far. Unless…they want you to get inaccurate results so you retest and buy more strips and make them more money…its a conspiracy! :) jus kiddin

GabbyPA 2008-08-29 04:51:36 -0500 Report

I have always been courious about that as well. Mine also come with the test side up. I do suppose that since I am in good control of my hands and fingers, that it is not a problem to have it the other way. I also pay attention to the strip, where maybe some people don't and I bet they get wasted if you put it in backwards...though I don't know for sure. I am still learning how to make my readings as accurate as I can...I would like to know if this is an issue to be looked into as well. Good question.

butterfly_8 2008-08-29 05:11:06 -0500 Report

It is a big problem,
It is and can be a serious issue. In the beginning I wasted so much money trying to get the strips out without contamination. I have never recieved a supply that was in correct order. I just got a little better with getting them out. I still make mistakes sometime.which is always costly.

morris.js 2008-08-29 05:19:52 -0500 Report

I always wash my hands right before I test, so I'm hoping that in the few minutes between my washing and testing, I'm not picking up too many contamiments on my hands.
I do not think it makes too much difference which way they are in the container as long as they are consistant so that you do not get used to one way, then find they changed…LOL
Of course, this is just my very humble opinion.

just4us3 2008-08-29 05:22:59 -0500 Report

It has never bothered me to have the strips one way or the other, I just make sure my hands are clean before I even touch my meter, this way I know I am not going to contaminate anything.

gogobob 2008-08-29 11:23:08 -0500 Report

well I understand what you all are saying. and I was taught by my local drug dealer. That you should wash your hands twice before testing your blood this way you are getting clean hands as well as moving the blood around faster to get a better result. So he told me that way it will not do anything to the strips. shoot he is smartr than me..ok so are 99.9 percent of the walking people…Bob

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