PDA

View Full Version : alcohol swabs and finger pricking



michelleissweet
05-16-2008, 12:23 PM
Okay i just read in a post where someone was told that wiping finger with alcohol before checking BG can alter the reading? Is this correct? I always wipe Aarons finger wiht alcohol and if i remember correctly they did this when in Chapel Hill as well while we were there a week learning about D.
Any input?

danismom79
05-16-2008, 12:27 PM
Okay i just read in a post where someone was told that wiping finger with alcohol before checking BG can alter the reading? Is this correct? I always wipe Aarons finger wiht alcohol and if i remember correctly they did this when in Chapel Hill as well while we were there a week learning about D.
Any input?

I usually only wipe with alcohol if soap and water isn't immediately available. At times, when I've done back-to-back checks for whatever reason, I used alcohol for one check, and none for the other, and they came out similar.

hawkeyegirl
05-16-2008, 12:31 PM
I can't be the only parent on here who does a quick visual check of the fingers, and if they "look clean", just go for it, can I? :rolleyes: Please tell me I'm not the only one!

(Of course, his numbers are pretty predictable, so if we get a wonky one, we wash hands and recheck.)

bgallini
05-16-2008, 12:33 PM
I have heard that it can alter the reading but we haven't tested that theory. We stopped using alcohol wipes when we ran out of the ones they gave us at the hospital. I encourage Alex to wash his hands before testing, but he's a teen..... LOL

I have also heard that the wipes can dry out their skin.

Midwestmomma
05-16-2008, 12:35 PM
We make Tresston wash with soap and water(if available), and wipe with alcohol swab. He has a tendency to have something:rolleyes: on his fingers alot of the time. We have checked BG and only used alcohol swab, and then had to recheck because reading was funky. And 9 out of 10 times the reading is better...alcohol doesn't seem to get everything off his fingers.:rolleyes:

twicker1
05-16-2008, 12:36 PM
Unfortunately, I have to use alcohol almost every time with Brandon because he is constantly digging in the dirt or playing with bugs. The alcohol can alter the reading if it is not dry. If you use alcohol, just have them shake their hand a couple of times and that should do it. Preferably, yes, use soap and water when possible to prevent drying of the fingertips.

dmjrn
05-16-2008, 12:36 PM
We have been using alcohol since she was dx in October '07. We haven't had any problems with her fingers being dry or irritated. When she doesn't clean her fingers there is always a 30-50 point difference in her bs. We always let the alcohol dry completely before testing.

Nancy in VA
05-16-2008, 12:38 PM
We don't use any alcohol - I follow the philosophy of the one above who said often its a "visual check", especially if we are out and about!

ROVERT81402
05-16-2008, 12:39 PM
We too have been using alcohol swabs since dx in Sept '07. As long as the alcohol is dry on the finger, it won't alter the results. If it is still wet, it will give you a lower result,,,,so make sure it is dry. I hate using them because it drys my fingers out so bad, it doesn't seem to do too much to Trevor's.

Tori's Mom
05-16-2008, 12:40 PM
I can't be the only parent on here who does a quick visual check of the fingers, and if they "look clean", just go for it, can I? :rolleyes: Please tell me I'm not the only one!

(Of course, his numbers are pretty predictable, so if we get a wonky one, we wash hands and recheck.)

OK, I am not afraid!!!! Hi, my name is Deb, and I am not compulsive about cleaning my childs finger at every check. THERE!!! I did it!!!!

And yes, if seems a bit off, we wash and retest.

Lee
05-16-2008, 12:44 PM
Swabbers about 80% of the time here! We just let it dry - just like you have to if you can wrestle your child to a sink and cover their hand with soap and then finagle a rinsing!

decota'smom
05-16-2008, 12:50 PM
Decota ususally will wash his hands before checks but if he is feeling really bad I wil use whipes or alchol whipes I make sure to whipe 2 drops of blood instead of 1 when we do this and usuallly have no funky numbers but if we do get them we will wash with soap and water so I don't think that this messes with his levels we were just instructed to alaways use soap and water when avaliable and we still try to do that but he is 5 and like some one already said BUGS and DIRT are usually around at the times when we need to check

bkfkmc
05-16-2008, 12:52 PM
We always use an alcohol swab. We do make sure the area is completely dry before testing. We were taught and our experience has been that the reading will be HIGHER if the alcohol hasn't dried. It seems opposite to logic since you would think the alcohol would dilute the sample and make the reading lower, but it actually makes it read higher.

Kara
05-16-2008, 01:01 PM
We have been using them since we've been home. We were told at the hospital to let it dry completely and not to blow on it because you'll blow the germs from inside your mouth onto the finger you just disinfected! So I just fan it with my hand for 10 or 15 seconds and I've not gotten a weird reading yet.

zeb'smom
05-16-2008, 01:04 PM
We were told at diagnosis not to use alcohol every time as it is so drying on their already abused fingers. I generally have Zeb wash hands if they look dirty...if not I wipe with a damp corner of a paper towel, dry and then test. I only use alcohol if we are out and can't clean a finger any other way.

Robyn

mom2two
05-16-2008, 01:32 PM
We were told soap and water and to be honest we only do soap and water if we were outside or I know his hands are dirty. If I get a crazy number we then wash with soap and water and re-test. When we are out and about I use alcohol wipe or whatever I have that will clean his finger.

shekov
05-16-2008, 01:37 PM
We do soap and water when dd is agreeable, a quick wipe with anything damp if she isn't.

If we're out and about I use alcohol wipe, dry her finger on my shirt (I know it's not sanitary) then test. I'm less worried about germs than I am some gross/sticky/sugary matter that seems to cling to her.

I do make sure she washs before bed so I don't have to worry about night time readings being off.

StillMamamia
05-16-2008, 01:38 PM
I can't be the only parent on here who does a quick visual check of the fingers, and if they "look clean", just go for it, can I? :rolleyes: Please tell me I'm not the only one!

(Of course, his numbers are pretty predictable, so if we get a wonky one, we wash hands and recheck.)


You're not the only one! :D:o

iluvmhp
05-16-2008, 01:41 PM
Do you use a swab for the middle of the night check? I do - I have wondered if this is overkill or not. She is just in her bed and washed her hands before bed, but I am anal, so. . ..

We wash hands if near a sink, otherwise it is alcohol every time.

Thanks

khannen
05-16-2008, 02:21 PM
I only use an alcohol swab if I can't clean her finger any other way.. or if we get a really out of whack BG. I've never asked our Endo, but our CDE agreed that using them each time was overkill and can dry out their fingers (as well as make it sting if not completely dried). If it's before mealtimes, she washes with soap and water. If it's just a random check , I just scan for a 'clean' finger and wipe it off before checking.

beckybuckley
05-16-2008, 03:23 PM
I just learned from our endo RN yesterday that if the alcohol isn't dried - it can dilute the blood and make it read lower. So we talked about practicing counting to 20 or saying ABC's to make sure it's dry before she pokes. Wonder how many times I've corrected false lows. no wonder sometimes it seems like 5 carbs brings up too high!

ilesha
05-16-2008, 03:34 PM
I can't be the only parent on here who does a quick visual check of the fingers, and if they "look clean", just go for it, can I? :rolleyes: Please tell me I'm not the only one!

(Of course, his numbers are pretty predictable, so if we get a wonky one, we wash hands and recheck.)

LOL no. i do that too.. josh hates having to run and wash his hands, and it was making htem really dry.

RosemaryCinNJ
05-16-2008, 03:48 PM
I dont use alcohol wipes...I have a bottle of antibacterial hand gel in the supply case and rub it on her hands, and it dries very very fast..Its called PrevaCare and its made by Johnson & Johnson...

lisalotsamom
05-16-2008, 03:55 PM
I could ditto Sherry (Shekov), Charlotte's mom's post in entirety.

When she can, she washes her hands, but most times I grab a bit of a bounty paper towel, get it moist, and wipe her finger. I also make her wash her hands when she brushes her teeth at night to make our night time checks as accurate as possible.

Abby-Dabby-Doo
05-16-2008, 04:05 PM
We were told by the hospital at dxd, and the Endo that the alcohol wipe will interfere with the test result. As for how, I have no idea. We were told to swipe the first drop of blood away if we were using the alcohol pad, and use the next drop of blood for the test. That got to be a pain, so she washes or rinses her hands before every test. If were out and about and a washing isn't possible we using the sanitizing spray, and wipe the first drop of blood away (usually with my finger).

Aidan'sMom
05-16-2008, 05:56 PM
I use alcohol swabs every time I check his BG, except for the 3 a.m. one because he takes his bath and goes straight to bed with clean hands. My only reason for the swabs is that it is a terrible enough task chasing a 2 yr. old around 8-12 times a day for a finger poke, much less making him wash his hands all day long. I have found though, that if the alcohol is not dry that the readings can be off. I swab really good, dry with a regular Kleenex (not the lotion ones), swab just one time, blow dry and then poke, wipe away first drop, then test!! Wow, I sound really anal. huh?? Just thought I would add that I am a lotion freak and Aidan's hands are as soft as the day he was born, so I don't worry about the drying effect of the alcohol!! :D

Anja821
05-16-2008, 06:11 PM
oh no, you're not alone! if I remember from the mother's day poem, spit is our preferred cleaning agent. it works on fingers, too. hope I'm not alone in that.

deafmack
05-16-2008, 06:41 PM
Yes, alchohol can screw up the readings. Also it really dries out the fingers and makes them sore. If you must use something using warm water and soap is the best or look for alchohol free wipes to use if you need something in a pinch.
I think the practice comes because hospitals and clinics and doctors do it out of habit and then teach people like us to do the same. Also a lot of people use Bag Balm or Lasinoh to keep their fingers soft and supple.

valerie k
05-16-2008, 06:44 PM
I can't be the only parent on here who does a quick visual check of the fingers, and if they "look clean", just go for it, can I? :rolleyes: Please tell me I'm not the only one!

(Of course, his numbers are pretty predictable, so if we get a wonky one, we wash hands and recheck.)



to my extreme knowledge so far, dirt hasnt affected his blood sugars yet. Syrup, yep, dirt, nope.

MrsBadshoe
05-16-2008, 06:50 PM
I can't be the only parent on here who does a quick visual check of the fingers, and if they "look clean", just go for it, can I? :rolleyes: Please tell me I'm not the only one!

(Of course, his numbers are pretty predictable, so if we get a wonky one, we wash hands and recheck.)

You are not only...I don't even look I just pray they are sort of cleanish..

CC'sMom
05-16-2008, 06:51 PM
Alcohol is too drying, so I get these for my daughter. I still prefer the soap and water method, but these are great for school, basketball practice, when we're out & about and the middle of the night.

Diabete-ezy wipes (http://www.diabete-ezy.com/)

sugarmonkey
05-16-2008, 08:13 PM
We don't use alcohol wipes. Just soap and water. If we're out and about Phillip uses hand sanitizer, very occasionally baby wipes.

Ashti
05-16-2008, 10:20 PM
I was wondering if alcohol wipes did affect blood sugar so I tried it on myself. I only got a lower reading if my finger was left soaking wet with the alcohol. The wet alcohol affected the way the blood pooled. Instead of having a small bump of blood, it flattened out right away.

Let's see if I can dig up the meter since I tested on our "Germany meter" that we don't use that often (Germany uses the same units as US) ...
dry finger: 85,
damp alcohol finger 87,
very wet alcohol on finger 74,
a bit wetter than damp alcohol on finger 82.
The tests were taken over three minutes total so my blood sugar probably didn't change that much during that time.

I suppose if bg was really high or really low there could be more variation - luckily, I'm not in a position to test that out, and not planning on subjecting DD to my experiments.

DD pretty well always uses alcohol wipes. If she has a very high reading, then we send her to wash with soap and water before retesting (instead of just using another alcohol swab). Most recently a 15.5 (280) happily turned out to actually be a 6.0 (108) - this happened most recently when she measured after grabbing a big handful of Smartfood (cornstarch covered popcorn) - the alcohol swab just didn't cut through it all.

Ashti :)

Joni
05-16-2008, 10:30 PM
Hi, I'm new to the forum...well actually, I use to chat here and then didn't for a long time but decided today I should get back to this...It has always made me feel better to talk to others who know where I've been with my son and his D...I just wanted to comment about the alcohol preps..I was also told that alcohol could alter the results..Infact we were taught to wipe off the first drop of blood and use the second when using alcohol but we've been doing this for D thing for ten years and I'm going to admit we seldomly use the alcohol. Soap and water if wacky number or I know he's dirty.. Thank God I'm not the only parent who does the visual check..lol