Storing glucose test strips incorrectly, especially in high humidity, can lead to falsely high readings.
Congratulations on your decision to manage your diabetes using a home glucose monitoring system. The success of glucose monitoring at home depends on accurate readings. Though you may face several issues when checking your glucose levels at home, inaccurate glucose readings are often resulted from test strip errors.
If you use test strips to monitor your glucose levels at home you must ensure you close the vial immediately after using them especially in in a humid environment. Failure to do so can potentially expose the test strips to humidity. Exposure to humidity can often result in erroneous glucose test results.
How to Properly Store Test Strips?
To ensure proper storage of your glucose test strips follow these 4 steps:
- Store the test strips in their original vial
- Close the vial tightly after taking out the test strips
- Write the discard date on the vial. Discard date is 9 months after you first open the vial.
- Check the expiration date on the vial before using test strips
Test strips contain electrical terminals that can quantify the amount of Gluconic acid present in the blood sample. The current amount of glucose produced depends on the level of Gluconic acid. The intensity of the current is then measured by the blood glucose monitor and a numbered reading is generated. Therefore it’s crucial to tightly close the vial immediately after use. Leaving test strips in an open vial or in an unoriginal vial could expose the test strips to an environment that could change the chemical properties of test strips. Such an exposure can result in false glucose readings.
Always read the safety instruction provided in the test strip box. Keep your strips in their original vial and away from heat, humidity and sunlight. Do not leave them open to air because that will make the strip unusable. When you remove a test strip for use, place a clean cloth underneath in case you drop it; this way it will still be clean and usable. Always dispose used test strips and never use them again. And remember to always contact your healthcare professional if your readings are outside your normal range.