Glucose meters display error messages when there are problems with test strips, problems with the glucose meter, or when your glucose level is higher or lower than normal. One of the common errors is the test strip error. This error is often an easy fix. However, it’s important to understand the test strip error so you can prevent it from happening again in the future. Every time a test strip error occurs you will need to repeat the test with a new test strip. This often results in use of a few test strips which can become costly over time.
Test Strip Error
First and foremost, make sure you are using the right test strip with your meter. Using test strips that are incompatible with your meter often causes an error. If you’re not sure which test strips to use with your meter, contact the manufacturer.
Here are a few common test strip errors:
- High or Low Operating Temperature: your glucose meter may display a test strip error when the it detects that the temperature is above or below the operating range. Do not perform a test until the meter and test strips reach a temperature within the operating range of your glucose monitoring system.
- Used, Damaged, or Expired Test Strip: glucose test strips are for single use. Do not use expired, short-dated, used, or damaged test strips. In this case, repeat the test with a new strip. Always read the safety instructions provided in the test strip box. Keep your strips in their original packages 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 it in case you drop it; this way it will still be clean and usable. Always dispose used test strips and never use them again.
- You may also get a test strip error if the test strip was moved during testing. Do not move or wiggle the test strip once it’s inserted in the meter.
Keep in mind that each meter has its own indication for the test strip error. For example OneTouch meters indicate test strip error by displaying “Er 2”. Other meters may have different indications for test strip errors. Refer to your test strip user guide for details.
Test strip errors often occurs when there is a problem with the test strip, or when the environment in which the test strip is used is below or above the operating range. Improper use of test strips may results in erroneous results. For best results and to avoid wasting test strips read the instructions carefully and familiarize yourself with your glucose monitoring system.
Test strip errors are not the only errors you may get when testing your glucose levels. There are other problems that you may face when using a glucose meter at home.
This article is meant for simple troubleshooting and common user errors. It is therefore not intended as medical advice. If ever in doubt, please contact your healthcare provider.