I think the worst meter (in terms of accuracy) I’ve had is the one I’m using at the minute; the RF version of the Bayer Contour (which I reviewed over here http://www.shootuporputup.co.uk/2009/06/review-bayer-contour/). Most of the time it’s fine, but the other day I tested my BG and it came out as 26.1. I thought to myself “blimey, I don’t feel 26.1”, so I tested again and Lo! I was actually 7.7. This has happened enough times that I’m beginning not to trust the damned thing.
Hmmm. I have never tried re-testing when surprised by a result. I may start to… I was enjoying the thought that my morning BGs are showing an improving trend today, until I got to lunch time and I was at 11.1, instead of the usual near hypo I am used to (part of my problem with fixing the DP).
I think there may have been a couple of other occasions too, as I don’t trust my feelings of being high (I have felt ‘high’ right up until crashing into a hypo before…) so just assume the meter to be right. Also, I was only aware of them not being accurate to within less than 1mmol or something, rather than giving completely false readings!
The last time I was in hospital (and had a convenient hypo), my AccuChek Active (plasma equivalent) gave a value of 2.4, while the laboratory said 1.something. At home, I’ve used both the AA and 2 Bayers (Contour USB & TS) when low, and when AccuChek says 2.something, the Bayers chime in with 1.somethings – same as laboratory, so at least I’ll trust their baying when I’m low…(oh, as for comparing different meters, make sure they all give plasma equivalents, not whole blood; whole blood’s values are higher than plasma’s)
I think a lot of our American blogger friends had a huge stuchie about meter accuracy 6 months or so ago. If you want to while away ten minutes or so, finger prick then test with two or three meters (or indeed two or three times with the same meter) and see what results you get.
I bought one in america when i was on holiday cause mine broke not realsing the readings are different. it said 149 i thought it meant 14.9. Still to this day i dont understand the american blood glucose readings.
Thank goodness for your soaraway Shoot Up with our handy UK to American glucose converter there on the right of the page! I think you just divide their crazy numbers by 18 – easy enough to do in your head
And on the subject of whole blood vs plasma… Since they are significantly different (upwards of 10% is not to be sniffed at) I have always wondered why we didn’t get revised BG target ranges following the switch to plasma strips. Not that my clinic have ever really suggested a target range, I’ve always just used the bog-standard DUK type ones.
Not that it makes much difference I suppose, but I’d like to know exactly how massively out of range my readings are, and at the moment I’m unsure as to whether they are only fairly rubbish or of the properly toe-rotting ;
On a good note, i mailed the Bayer Contour USB people and they said they can’t give them away free. So I tried my wonderful nurse and she had a voucher, so I’m going to try that one as I will be able to download to my mac and look at trends.
Well my USB meter arrived this morning. Brand new meter, which reads WHOLE BLOOD!
It does have drawbacks though. You have to leave it in a new temperature for half an hour before doing a test! So on the way to a hospital appointment for example, I wouldn’t be able to do one in the car. Or after getting in the car having been going round the shops. Or on getting out of the car, walking a little way and thinking, hang on, I feel a bit tired, am I high or low… I wouldn’t be able to test to find out. Major problem this, for me.
I’m getting more and more angry with Accu-chek. I think the plasma reading has contributed to my extra problems with blood sugar control since they changed over. As I read the product insert, I naively assumed (since it said, don’t worry, your machine can read the plasma strips) that it was also converting the reading to one I understood.
If not, why on earth have we not been given a conversion chart automatically?