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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been using the AccuChek CP for 2 years. I find it bulky to carry around. Plus the only computer link is thru a proprietary setup that is expensive. I switched to the Bayer USB and found it to be a great size and easy to upload. The problem is this:

Accu-Chek Reading: 145, 145, 142
Bayer-USB Reading: 182, 212, 172

From the same drop of blood, same finger. Are you kidding me? That's a 50 point difference!

I took the readings alternating between the two. AC, USB, AC, USB and so on.

So I tried it again and again and again over the course of many days and the results are the same 7 out of 10 times the Bayer USB 1) reads wildly and 2) is way different than the consistent readings of the AccuChek.

In summary, I don't know what to believe but since the AccuChek is consistent, I go with that. What a pain and a waste of money.

Can anyone tell me they believe their meter to be 1) accurate and 2) consistent?

Thanks, Mike
 

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When I switched to the Contour USB from the One Touch I found the opposite problem. My One Touch tests much higher than my USB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I just spoke with the Bayer company and they went thru the logs of my meter for errors and administration stuff. They claim I was not using it properly. Their claim is that I should only touch the strip to the bubble of blood holding the meter down (vertically) and if i touch the strip to my skin it will pick up contaminants on the skin and give a mis-read. I will continue to test as I have (using both meters) and see if the results become consistent and similar.

Personally, the bubble of blood that is on the skin already *has* the contaminants in it so I don't foresee a change. Time will tell, I will continue to use both and see if it's user error or not.

I'll post my results in a few days. -Mike
 

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I've never held mine vertically, but I do squeeze a nice size blood drop usually. When I had my One Touch I had lots of error readings. In the past year with my USB I've only had a few error readings. I also find washing hands with certain soaps will throw off meters, I now use only water and dry thoroughly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good to know about the soaps. I have been washing, but using alcohol prep pads. I ensure my finger is clearly dry before testing. Bayer said stop using alcohol and just use soap and water. I told them soap residue affects meter readings and they did "oh really?" ... I don't think the helpful person I spoke with could find an answer to that in there book-o-scripted-tid-bits.

I still use alcohol and I will post when I have more results in a few days to see if being more vigilant about not "touching" your finger with the strip does anything or not. Believe it or not I ran out of test strips for the accuchek, should have them tomorrow. That's what I get for predominately using the Contour USB meter. :-/

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As promised, here are my results:

Previously I had wide swings in numbers. Tests from the same bubble of blood would produce different results as noted above. After speaking with Bayer, they claim that my improper usage was producing the wide range of numbers. They gave me exact instructions on how to get the best possible reading. Since then, the sequential tests are almost identical to one another. It seems that my usage was indeed improper.

Instructions They gave me: Test each bottle of test strips with testing solution. 1)Wash and rinse hands thoroughly. Having clean and dry hands are important. 2) They recommended soap because it’s less drying to the skin vs. alcohol. That right there is a problem and I told them. If soap is moisturizing your hand then you are reading the moisturizer. They didn’t realize that and agreed. 3) They then went on to say that *any* contaminants on your skin will skew the test. Ah ha! Soap residue on the skin…. need I say more? 4) Test only by touching the bubble of blood. Touching the skin with the test strip will pick up more contaminants and skew the test.

Summary: It works.

Additional info:

1) No Soap: As discovered here, I do not use soap. It’s almost impossible to rinse all soap off your hands. Ever wonder why your hands smell so nice after using a scented soap? It’s the residue. (Same principle with nice smelling clothes that come out of your washer). I still use alcohol for clean fingers.

2) Dry Site: Ensure your fingers are absolutely dry.

3) Only the Bubble: I extend my fingers on the hand holding the meter so I can rest them on the alternating hand and steady the test strip and only touch the bubble. This is harder than it seemed at first, I think I always touched the strip to my finger before.

4) No kneading! Do not knead the finger!!! I found this one out from my former nurse now pharmacist. If you lance your finger poorly, then kneading the blood out means you are getting more than blood! Your are getting interstitial fluid and tissue! Lance properly and get an easy bubble of blood to rise up to the top.

Since I have been doing this, all my sequential tests are nearly identical. In comparison to the Accu-Chek, both are very similar now.

Sounds elementary for all you seasoned veterans out there, but perhaps it will become second-nature for us new kids on the block. Perhaps this will help someone.
 
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3) Only the Bubble: I extend my fingers on the hand holding the meter so I can rest them on the alternating hand and steady the test strip and only touch the bubble. This is harder than it seemed at first, I think I always touched the strip to my finger before.
I think I may be touching my finger too - I'll get a little bigger bubble after this & see what happens. Thanks, Mike!
 

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Wondering why Accu-Check not showing contaminants in readings?
 

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I "suck up the blood" vertically. I've been doing it almost 18 years, I do stuff like that automatically now. It is easy to forget, a new person would not know unless someone brought it to their attention.

I use 1 meter at work, one at home, and one in my jacket pocket for if I am in the car. All readings are entered into my insulin pump, it averages out differences. Mostly I do that, because if I carried a meter to use, I would be forgetting it somewhere or losing it. The one in my jacket is in a deep pocket, and is not used much.
I get good, consistent results with my bayer USB meters.

-Lloyd
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Shanny: Your welcome!

Mbuster: Yes, I think the Accu-Chek doesn't "pick up" contaminants ...as much... because the strip is so small and it's usually as wide as the bubble. The USB strip is huge in comparison. ...I'm reaching, but that may be part of it... perhaps they are more tolerant? Who knows.

Lloyd: Yes, thank you for reminding me ! Bayer told me to only suck up the blood vertically.
 

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I can confirm that all my Bayer meters (Contour&Contour USB) give me lower readings (20-40 mg/dl) than my Accu Chek Mobile.
I don't know which one is correct but ever since I switched to the AC it lowered my A1c :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
:) Anything that helps lower the A1c lol ! But seriously, as long as they are consistent then good!
 
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