Getting Up to Date on Glucose Meters
Test Strip Safety: Vital Precautions continued...
Consumers can tell if a test strip is of the type that cannot distinguishes between glucose and other sugars by checking the product's package insert for reagents identified as GDH-PQQ or GDO.
If you use meters and strips that cannot distinguish between the sugars, take these additional precautions:
- On admission for and periodically during a hospital stay, check to see if you are receiving medications that contain other sugars. If so, ask your health care professional about monitoring glucose using only hospital laboratory methods
- Ask if your hospital periodically verifies point-of-care blood glucose readings with laboratory results. This can detect errors in glucose meter readings early enough to prevent harm. This is especially important if you are admitted when unconscious or unable to communicate since it may be difficult to ascertain the symptoms of hypoglycemia or the medication history
- Ask your health care professional if his or her staff and the local hospital staff are educated about this potentially fatal problem, and if they consider safeguards such as drug interaction alerts in computer order entry systems, patient profiles, and charts.
For more information about topics for your health, visit the FDA Consumer Information Center (www.fda.gov/consumer).
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