The title of today’s blog posts comes from a question that Heidi, our Customer Service Manager, just responded to on the phone. Apparently, this isn’t the first time either, she answers this question several times each week. Clearly, there is a disconnect regarding what Control Solution is and how it works. Hopefully, we’ll be able to clear this question up today.
Control Solution’s purpose is really simple. It is used to test strips for accuracy. Since accurate blood sugar readings are critical for maintaining your health, you should perform a Control Solution test every time you open a new bottle of strips. Hence the reason our team at Diathrive sends you Control Solution every quarter. Statistical analysis has shown that if one strip from a bottle is good then all the strips are good. Conversely, if one is bad then they’re all likely bad.
It’s important to understand that not all Control Solutions are created equal. Much like strips, Control Solution is specific to each manufacturer and shouldn’t be used with other brands of strips & meters. The solution is made using a glucose substance that reacts the same way blood does when applied to the strip. Generally, a test kit will include 2 or 3 different levels of Control Solution. These come in handy, especially if your results aren’t consistent and you need to test multiple strips.
Whenever you open a new bottle of strips, you should perform a quick control test to ensure accuracy. To do this, all you need to do is put a drop or two of Control Solution on a strip, just like you put blood on them. Once you have a reading, make sure it is within the range that is marked on the bottle of Control Solution or on the bottle of strips. If the results are within the range specified, you are good to go. If not, perform a second control test right away. If your second test is within the range, the best practice is to perform one more test with a different level of Control Solution to verify your results.
The FDA only requires a meter’s result to be within 15% of the laboratory value 95% of the time. It’s always possible to get an outlier reading with any meter that you use. If your control test is outside the range twice then call your provider and give them the lot # of your bottle of test strips. They should exchange the test strips for you at no cost.
At Diathrive, we send you Control Solution with every order so you can always have the peace of mind that your test strips are working correctly and giving you accurate results.