Thursday, April 01, 2010

I've Had Enough

If you ever watch television at all (seems I've got the flu, so opportunities abound), you've seen the diabetic supply commercials (such as Liberty Medical) where they give away a "free" meter, and if you happen to be on Medicare, why gee - all the supplies are shipped to you "free of charge" or nearly so.

OK, politics about "free" aside, what has really been chapping my hide is the meter itself. They're usually some sort of off breed large display (so elderly eyes can read it better) model with a voice synthesizer that can announce the reading - just in case the display isn't large enough. OK, fine. Those are logical benefits that the elderly can use and appreciate.

Invariably, they ALL claim doing this confirms accuracy. Do these wonder meters actually test the blood sample several times? Nope - just once and the visual and vocal readings are based on a single test.

THIS DOES NOT CONFIRM ACCURACY, YOU DUMB SONSABITCHES. In order to confirm accuracy, one needs more than just one data point. Is this meter more accurate over multiple testing sessions than others? Maybe, maybe not, BUT READING THE SAME READING EVEN DOZENS OF TIMES DOESN'T MAKE IT MORE ACCURATE. Does my shooting once at a bullseye and missing it completely, but repeatedly announcing how accurate it was make it true? Not bloody likely.


There, I feel better.

And, just so you know, as a habitual user of blood glucose monitors, I can tell you the ones that claim the sample can be drawn from the arm because they don't need as much blood are full of feces as well. I've got one, and if the blood drop I get from a fingertip is too small, the reading will always be high. As in "Wow, I figured I'd be around 100 - but 350? Are you serious?" Retesting (at over a buck a strip) with a bigger drop of blood will return a more normal reading. So, if my meter was talking to me on the first reading, it would be full of massive amounts of dung. Confirming accuracy, no doubt - keeping up the spirit of the shyster salesmen.

1 comment:

threecollie said...

Sorry about that flu thing. This is a really informative post for those of us who don't deal with glucose meters. Thanks for the info.