Which blood glucose monitor is best for the patient?
lood glucose monitors. Consumers often quickly grab the brand that's on sale or offered with a manufacturer's rebate.
According to Beverly Yachmetz, a pharmacist and clinical coordinator of the Diabetes Care Management Program at the Liberty Medical Center, Baltimore, the tremendous benefits of home blood glucose monitoring have created a market for innovative meters to meet the needs of the diabetic.
In helping a diabetic choose a home glucose meter, pharmacists should keep in mind that no one meter is right for everybody, but that with many meters to choose from, there's probably a meter for everybody. A visually impaired diabetic could benefit from some of the new meters with audio systems that talk the user through the procedure. A teen-ager, eager not to announce to his peers that he is diabetic, may prefer a small, discreet monitor. If the patient has triglycerides of more than 300, blood glucose readings, which are tied in with blood lipids, can be in error.
Machines vary in the amount of blood they need for a reading (from 3 to 50 microliters), and in cleaning procedures. A dirty monitor is soon useless.
Some monitors have to be calibrated. Some have built-in lancets. Some give information in up to nine languages. It's more than a matter of saving a few bucks. It is whether the patient is going to be afraid to use the monitor and therefore not check blood sugars at all. And that's the killer. Literally.