Thursday, February 05, 2009

PSA: Calibration

It seems more than a few people are under the impression that doing a control solution test calibrates your blood glucose meter, and that this needs to be done often to keep it working. I keep seeing control solution tests referred to as "calibration" and people being told to "calibrate" more often.

Well, doing a control solution test DOES NOT calibrate the meter. It doesn't actually do anything to the meter. It just tests the control solution, which tells you if the meter is operating within normal parameters. That's it. I think in three years, I've only ever done it three times. Twice it just told me what I already knew - my meter needed replacing.

The only way you as an end user can calibrate today's meters is by coding. So when you put in the code on the side of your test strip vial (if you're using a coded meter), then that is how you calibrate it.

I don't understand where this idea that control solution tests calibrate the meter comes from and how it got so widespread. Does anyone know?