The effect of disinfecting procedure on the glucose concentration using a personal glucose meter


      • Disinfection cause lowering of the measurement.
      • After disinfection, the best option is to wait 30 s before measurement.
      • Thinner lancet after disinfection cause greater lowering of the results.



      Personal glucose meters, primarily designed for self-control of glucose concentration in patients with diabetes, are frequently used in clinical practice as point-of-care equipment. The procedure of washing hands with water and soap before testing, as recommended by the manufacturer of personal glucose meters, in hospital wards is often difficult to fulfil and is replaced by disinfecting the place of blood sampling with isopropyl alcohol.


      The purpose of the research was to evaluate the effect of different disinfecting procedures on glycemia measurement in capillary blood using personal glucose meters.

      Materials and methods

      Four measurements of glycemia were taken in each of 50-volunteer group using Accu-Check Performa (Roche, Swiss) glucose meter using different procedures: washing hands with soap and drying them (1), disinfection with isopropyl alcohol and waiting for the disinfectant to evaporate (2) and the immediate puncture after disinfection. In the latter case two kind of single-use lancets were use – typical for adult (3) and smaller preferred by diabetics or children (4).


      Paired T-student test showed no statistically significant difference between measurements 1st and 2nd 95% CI (−4.282 to 0.322), p = 0.09. However, the comparison between 1st/3rd and 1st/4th showed statistically significant difference, 95% CI (−4.964 to −0.796), p = 0,0077 (p < 0,01) and 95% CI (−7.842 to −2.917), p = 0.00006 (p < 0.001).


      The procedure of disinfection when fluid completely evaporates has no effect on glucose measurements. Sampling the wet finger influences results of glucose measurement but observed changes were clinically irrelevant.


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