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alcohol swabs and finger pricking

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by michelleissweet, May 16, 2008.

  1. michelleissweet

    michelleissweet Approved members

    Apr 1, 2008
    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?
  2. danismom79

    danismom79 Approved members

    Apr 21, 2008
    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.
  3. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Nov 15, 2007
    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.)
  4. bgallini

    bgallini Approved members

    Feb 23, 2008
    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.
  5. Midwestmomma

    Midwestmomma Approved members

    Jan 26, 2008
    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:
  6. twicker1

    twicker1 Approved members

    Apr 10, 2006
    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.
  7. dmjrn

    dmjrn Approved members

    Nov 19, 2007
    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.
  8. Nancy in VA

    Nancy in VA Approved members

    Jul 16, 2007
    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!
  9. ROVERT81402

    ROVERT81402 Approved members

    Sep 17, 2007
    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.
  10. Tori's Mom

    Tori's Mom Approved members

    Nov 26, 2006
    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.
  11. Lee

    Lee Approved members

    Oct 5, 2006
    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!
  12. decota'smom

    decota'smom Approved members

    Nov 19, 2007
    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
  13. bkfkmc

    bkfkmc Approved members

    Feb 25, 2006
    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.
  14. Kara

    Kara Approved members

    Apr 22, 2008
    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.
  15. zeb'smom

    zeb'smom Approved members

    Apr 20, 2006
    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.

  16. mom2two

    mom2two Approved members

    Jan 3, 2008
    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.
  17. shekov

    shekov Approved members

    Feb 22, 2008
    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.
  18. StillMamamia

    StillMamamia Approved members

    Nov 21, 2007

    You're not the only one! :D:eek:
  19. iluvmhp

    iluvmhp Approved members

    Mar 10, 2008
    Swab for night check?

    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.

  20. khannen

    khannen Approved members

    Mar 27, 2007
    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.

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