Are the glucometers that take samples from an arm as accurate as the ones that take from a finger?

Patty Bonsignore


Taking a blood glucose reading from areas other than the fingertips is called “alternate site testing” or “alternate site checking.” You can do alternate site checking with almost all the meters that are currently on the market. In order to do alternate site checking, you need a clear cap for your lancing device, which is usually provided free of charge in your meter kit when you get a new machine. The accuracy of the alternate site reading depends on when you do the blood glucose check, not on which meter you are using. Alternate site readings are as accurate as checking with the fingertips when the reading is done before a meal. If a person has eaten in the past 2 to 3 hours, if they have recently exercised, or if they think they are having a low, checking blood glucose using the fingertip is recommended. In circumstances in which the blood glucose is changing rapidly, as the ones I just mentioned, alternate sites should not be used. The reason for this is t changes in your blood glucose show up more quickly on the fingertips than they do on the alternate sites.