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Defeat Diabetes
150 153rd Ave,
Suite 300

Madeira Beach, FL 33708

Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose: Use First or Second Drop of Blood?

Posted: Sunday, February 27, 2011

The study investigated whether capillary glucose concentrations, as measured in the first and second drops of blood, differed ˇÝ10% compared with a control glucose concentration in different situations.

Capillary glucose concentrations were measured in two consecutive drops of blood in the following circumstances in 123 patients with diabetes: without washing hands, after exposing the hands to fruit, after washing the fruit-exposed hands, and during application of different amounts of external pressure around the finger. The results were compared with control measurements. 

The results showed that, not washing hands led to a difference in glucose concentration of ˇÝ10% in the first and in the second drops of blood in 11% and 4% of the participants, respectively. In fruit-exposed fingers, these differences were found in 88% and 11% of the participants, respectively. Different external pressures led to ˇÝ10% differences in glucose concentrations in 5-13% of the participants. 

From the results it was recommend washing the hands with soap and water, drying them, and using the first drop of blood for self-monitoring of blood glucose. If washing hands is not possible, and they are not visibly soiled or exposed to a sugar-containing product, it is acceptable to use the second drop of blood after wiping away the first drop. External pressure may lead to unreliable readings.   

Source:, Published online February 2, 2011, doi: 10.2337/dc10-1694 Diabetes Care February 2, 2011 DC_101694.

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