This is a practical step-by-step guide for how to test blood sugar. Share it with your family or friends who might be testing your child’s blood for the first time, or use it as a guide for yourself if you’re new to the game.
How to prick a finger & test blood:
- Wash your hands.
- Clean fingertip with alcohol. Be sure that it is VERY dry.
- Set the needle to 2 or 3 to start by turning the round tip at the top of the pricker to match up with the white line.
- Insert a glucose meter strip into the meter. Put the black and white end of the strip into the meter. Do not touch the white/yellow tip. (This action will “wake” the meter and in a moment you will see a prompt on the screen with a drop of blood. This indicates it’s ready to go.)
- Cock the needle by pushing on the end of the pricker (like a pen). A bubble on the side will come up yellow when the needle is cocked.
- For best results, squeeze finger below the prick area to make the tip swollen with blood.
- Prick finger by pushing the pricker against clean fingertip and then pushing the yellow button.
- Squeeze up a bead of blood. It needs to be a proper drop – if the blood gets watery or runs down the finger, the reading may be inaccurate (showing a lower than true number).
- Touch the white/yellow tip of the strip to the bead of blood and wait until the meter beeps, indicating the blood is read.
- Lightly dab the blood with a paper towel – the hole closes almost instantly.
If you have trouble drawing a bead of blood:
- Wash the hands with warm water (and dry them well of course).
- Shake hands around a bit to increase circulation.
- Don’t hold finger up in the air as the blood will flow out of the finger.
- Increase the needle setting to 3.5, or more if necessary.
- Stay hydrated – it’s harder to get a bead of blood if you are not.
Read about how to give your loved one an insulin injection.