Guidelines for testing Capillary Blood Glucose by fdjerue7eeu


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To accurately determine capillary blood glucose levels at ward/department level.


The procedure is to be performed only by staff who have received training
concerning the use of the Advantage system and have been assessed as competent
at ward/department level.


In health blood glucose levels rarely stray outside the normal range of 3.5 mls – 7
mls 1 litre.

In patients who have diabetes these levels are much less predictable and can drop
below 3.5 mls and often rise above 7 mls.

Hypoglycaemia is indicated below 3.5 mls.

Hyperglycaemia is indicated above 10 ml/litre.

The correct technique required to measure capillary blood glucose accurately is
essential when results are often used to adjust medication and treatment.

Equipment Needed

Advantage Meter
Advantage II Glucose Test Strips
Glucolet II Finger Pricking Device
Tissues/Cotton Wool
Sharps Disposal Box

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                ACTION                                         RATIONAL

1. Discuss proposed procedure with the          1. To gain consent and understanding.

2. Ensure the patient is comfortable.           2. To minimise risk of movement.

3. Wash hands. Dry thoroughly and put           3. Minimise risk of infection when
   on gloves.                                      potentially handling blood.

4. Ensure patient’s hand is clean and           4. To ensure test result is not influenced
   warm.                                           by contaminated skin and blood flow
                                                   is enhanced.

5. Load Glucolet II with new minilet and        5. To minimise the risk of needlestick
   remove the lancet cover.                        injury to the nurse.

6. Remove a new test strip from the             6. To ensure the strips are within date
   container, check expiry date and                and they are stored correctly.
   ensure the cap is replaced tightly.

7. Within 30 seconds insert the test strip 7. To ensure the equipment is properly
   (yellow window facing up) into the         calibrated.
   test strip slot. The meter
   automatically switches on – check the
   code number corresponds to the test
   strip container.

8. Select an appropriate site, preferably       8. Reduce discomfort to the patient.
   sides of fingers, earlobes if needed.
   Back of heel in small

9. Massage and milk blood into the              9. To enhance blood flow and increase
   finger tips.                                    sample size.

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                  ACTION                                       RATIONALE

10. When the blood drop symbol flashes           10. To ensure that the machine is used
    the meter is ready to perform. Touch             correctly and the result is accurate.
    and hold drop of blood to the edge of
    the strip within the curve until the
    yellow window is completely filled
    with blood. A second drop may be
    applied in the same way up to 15
    seconds after starting if required. If
    more than 15 seconds have passed
    and there is not enough blood –
    discard the strip and start again.

11. After approximately 40 seconds the           11. To monitor changes in glucose
    result will appear in the window and             levels.
    should be recorded in the relevant

     Remove test strip from meter and
     Minilet from the Glucolet and discard
     in the contaminated waste bin and
     the sharps box.

12. Wearing gloves clean the meter               12. To confirm meter accuracy and
    regularly – once weekly, more if                 ensure dried blood and dirt is
    required with a soft cloth, slightly             removed to prevent inaccurate
    dampened with warm water.                        results.

Always analyse an advantage control sample when:

1.   A new vial of test strips is opened.
2.   An unexpected result is obtained.
3.   If the meter is dropped.
4.   If the result does not agree
5.   When you wish to test the performance of the meter, strips or user technique.

It is the ward’s responsibility to ensure the system is kept in good working order and
the quality control system is adhered to.


Dougherty L, Mallett J, Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures, 5thedition, Blackwell
Science, 2000.


As national, regional, local or profession bodies require.

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