Each week we will aim to bring out a concise email that provides 4-5 key pieces of information addressing a specific issue in clinical therapeutics.
This week: Calibration of Blood Glucose Monitors
Sue Ward, Principal Pharmacist, Ward MM
Residential aged care facilities using blood glucose meter systems (BGMs) require an established quality control program to ensure accuracy and precision of these devices. An internal quality control using a Control Solution (CS) with a known value of glucose concentration will assist in checking device reliability. The general consensus in Australia is that weekly quality control testing regimens should be maintained for devices used in residential aged care facilities, with the results of testing to be documented and corrective action taken when necessary. General principles to remember:
- DO NOT SHAKE the CS! Shaking the bottle may introduce air bubbles which may affect results – instead rotate bottle between palms of hands.
- The CS may be stored in the fridge but should be brought to room temperature least 30 minutes prior to testing, as the CS is affected by low temperatures.
- First squeeze a drop of CS onto a tissue then wipe the tip of bottle clean. The CS is basically sugar in water with some additives and can dry out in the bottle tip, which may result in an inaccurate reading.
- A CS has two expiration dates:
- one is the closed bottle expiration date which is printed on the label;
- the other is three months from the date the CS bottle was first opened. It is best practice to write the date of opening on the bottle label.
Please consider these issues when preparing or interpreting RMMR reports or education sessions. Contributions of content or suggested topics are welcome and should be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.