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GLUCOSE METER

Glucose meter is a medical device for determining approximate concentration of


glucose in the blood.
It is a type of point-of-care device.
A small drop of blood, obtained by pricking the skin with a lancet, is placed on
a disposable test strip that the meter reads and uses to calculate the blood
glucose level. The meter then displays the level in units of mg/dl or mmol/L.
Principle : Earlier, glucometer devices worked on the principle of reflectance
photometry.
Most glucometers today use an electrochemical method. The blood sample is
placed in the same observation window. The hydrophilic layer present at the
window, serves to direct the sample to the reagent layer. Conversion of glucose
is accompanied by the reduction of ferrocene and the release of electrons. These
electrons are captured by silver-silver chloride reference electrode and a carbon
based active electrode. The approximate glucose concentration is then displayed
through the LED screen.

Glucose
Oxidase

FERROCENE
ELECTRON

FAD +

FERROCENE +
SILVER

GLUCUNOLACTONE

FAD

CARBON

GLUCOSE

70 mg/dl
LED Display

Procedure:
1. Fix the test strip into the slot provided on the glucometer
2. Swab the area to be pricked (ex-pulp of the finger tip) with alcohol using
cotton.
3. Wait for the digital display on the glucometer to indicate that the blood
can be placed on the strip.

4. Once indicated, use the lancet provided with the glucose meter and prick
the finger tip for the sample.
5. Place the blood sample on the test strip. These test strips are impregnated
with glucose oxidase and other chemicals which react with glucose in the
drop of blood.
6. Time taken to read a test strip may range from 3-60 secs for different
device models.
7. The glucose value is displayed on the digital display either as mg/dl or
mmol/L.

Clinical significance:
Glucose meter can be used easily by individuals to monitor their glucose levels
at home or by medical professionals to estimate patients glucose levels at the
bed side in the wards or casualty.
However, care should be taken not to rely entirely on the glucose level
displayed by the glucometer because the sample used is whole blood. Glucose
concentration in whole blood is 10% less than that of plasma.

Inaccurate readings may be obtained due to :


-

Application of insufficient volume of blood


Use of expired test strips
Use of malfunctioning meter
Environmental factors (humidity, heat and altitude)
Hypertriglyceridemia
Hypotension
Patients with abnormal haematocrit or body temperature.