How do I know when my glucose meter needs to be changed? My current meter is about 15 months oid - Accu-chek

Amy Campbell


Blood glucose meters can last for several years. There is no need to change the meter unless the meter is not working or unless a new technology comes out that will make it easier for you to check. Currently, most of the meters on the market require very little blood and show a reading in 5-10 seconds once the blood is applied. The batteries are replaceable, and usually need to be changed every one to two years. As long as your meter continues to work and the strips are available at your pharmacy, there is no need to change it.

July 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm

2 replies

Yerachmiel 2013-11-25 17:33:55 -0600 Report

I have the web sites of the studies of the various meters, but have no idea where to post them. If anyone is interested here are the articles I know about so far:

Readings from portable blood sugar monitors can differ dramatically from those produced from lab tests, according to a recent Reuters article. In fact, recent data suggests the difference may be up to 16%.
Although it is widely known that blood sugar monitors are not exact, the recent data taken from pregnant women with diabetes, confirms the disparity. Such inaccuracies are concerning to doctors and researchers because poorly controlled blood sugar levels can have serious health consequences for mother and baby.
The most recent test compared readings from 102 women in both lab tests and portable monitors. All of the women in the study had diabetes – either gestational diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy, or other forms of the disease.
Stat-Strip, which was the most accurate of the portable monitors, differed from lab results by an average of 6%. Optium Xceed, which was the least accurate, was off by an average of 16%.
All monitors must be approved in the U.S. must be approved by the Food & Drug Administration. U.S. standards recommend that the monitors should produce results within 20% of lab results.
Higher levels of blood sugar during pregnancy can result in miscarriage, more difficulty giving birth and larger than normal babies.


Blood sugar meters may give inaccurate readings

By Genevra Pittman

NEW YORK | Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:25pm EST

Meters also store the readings, so that doctors can track patients' diabetes — and how well they are managing it with insulin and meals — every time they go in for an appointment.

If the measurements are inaccurate, women may give themselves doses of insulin that are higher or lower than what they should be receiving, or doctors may not have the best information to counsel and treat their patients.

And using the devices isn't straightforward either, said Metzger, who was not involved in the current study.

"We give them a meter and teach them how to do it and then try to use that information (from the meter) right away," he said. "There's a significant learning curve for … this kind of technology."

Sacks said the new study may underestimate the problems with glucose meters, because all the readings were done by trained nurses — which is very different from when patients use them for the first time.

Women may also be hesitant to redo a measurement even if they worry it could be wrong, because the strips they are done on cost about 50 cents each. The meters themselves start at around 15 dollars.

Despite the inaccuracies, Sacks said the meters are still the best tool there is to manage diabetes on a day-to-day basis.

"What pregnant women should do is follow the directions very, very carefully," he said. "Make sure that the technique is as good as can be."

And if something seems off — such as a low reading right after a big meal — "they should repeat the test," he advised.

SOURCE Diabetes Care, online January 7, 2010.

Suboptimal Performance of Blood Glucose Meters in an Antenatal Diabetes ClinicNimalie Jacintha Perera, MD1,2, Lynda Molyneaux, RN1,3, Maria Ines Constantino, BSC1, Marg McGill, MSC1,3, Dennis Koon-See Yue, MD1,3, Stephen Morris Twigg, MD1,3 and Glynis Pauline Ross, MD1,3
+ Author Affiliations
1Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia 2Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia 3Discipline of Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia Corresponding author: Nimalie J. Perera, nimalie.perera@email.cs.nsw.gov.au small.
OBJECTIVE The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of blood glucose meters in diabetes associated with pregnancy (DP).

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Finger-prick blood glucose levels measured using six different glucose meters on 102 patients with DP attending an antenatal clinic were compared with laboratory plasma glucose results. HbA1c and hematocrit were also measured.

RESULTS The plasma glucose range was 2.2–9.4 mmol/L with hematocrit 33–37% and mean HbA1c 5.5% ± 0.56 (SD). All meters provided plasma equivalent results except one, which reported whole blood glucose that was adjusted to plasma equivalent values. The absolute glucose difference [meter − plasma glucose] was 0.232 ± 0.69 to 0.725 ± 0.62 mmol/L mean ± SD and bias ranged from 6.1 to 15.8%. Two meters were affected by hematocrit <36% (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS Blood glucose meters in current use are not optimally accurate when compared with plasma glucose measurement in DP. Recognition of this deviation is essential to prevent inappropriate treatment of DP.

Received July 28, 2010.
Accepted October 24, 2010.

© 2011 by the American Diabetes Association.

Anonymous 2013-11-23 12:17:45 -0600 Report

If I have a really low(78) reading and think it's wrong, if I take my reading again immediately and it's 113. Is that something wrong with my meter? It's about 1 year old.