One of the most common challenges when checking blood glucose levels is getting a sufficient sample size. Test strips require enough blood to completely fill the sample area, and without a large enough sample, the results may not be accurate. While strategies like putting your hands under warm water, shaking your hands and arms, and gently rubbing the lancing area of the finger to increase blood flow can help, changing the blood glucose meter (BGM) you use is one of the easiest ways to ensure success. Knowing what blood sample size glucose meters require can help you choose the best device for your needs.
Common Blood Sample Sizes Blood Glucose Meters Require
When you use a BGM, glucose measurement can happen in a few different ways. The glucose in your blood sample interacts with enzymes in the test strip to turn the glucose into electricity, colored dye, or light.
Sometimes, when the strip is inserted into the meter, this reaction creates an electrical signal, and the glucose measurement corresponds to the strength of that electrical current. In other words, the stronger the current, the higher the glucose reading. In other cases, test strips change color based on your glucose concentration. The complexity of these processes explains why BGM results can easily be affected by insufficient blood sample sizes.
Many glucose meters require blood sample sizes of around 0.5µL, but requirements range from 0.3 to 1.5µL depending on the manufacturer. The larger the sample size needed, the more difficult checking your blood sugar may be. The following are common challenges that people with diabetes may experience when they struggle to obtain enough blood for testing:
- Wasted test strips
- Pain and soreness
- Finger prick anxiety
- Limited test site options
- Inaccurate results
Blood glucose meters with minimal sample size requirements may help you avoid these complications.
POGO Automatic®: Smaller Samples, Greater Ease
POGO Automatic gives you accurate results from only 0.25µL of blood. That’s about the size of a pinhead.
Here’s what POGO Automatic could mean for you:
- Fewer wasted tests, as POGO Automatic has a feature that allows you to add more blood without having to restart the test
- Fewer unproductive finger pricks, as it requires less blood to be accurate
- More finger test site options because you don’t have to use your dominant hand to lance yourself
- Less finger prick anxiety, as you don’t ever see the lancet before testing
The POGO Automatic Monitoring System requires a smaller blood sample size than other glucose meters and eliminates altogether the need for separate lancets and test strips. Instead, it uses 10-test cartridges with lancets and test strips built in. This innovative technology lances and collects blood automatically at the press of a button, allowing you to check your blood sugar quickly and discreetly, no matter where you are.
The blood sample size a glucose meter requires can make a big difference in daily diabetes management. Selecting a meter that reliably gives accurate results with a smaller blood sample can simplify glucose checking.
Jaclyn Owens is a product director specializing in diabetes management tools. She is committed to using technology to empower people with diabetes and help them take control of their health.
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