I was working with a woman with type 1 diabetes. She was in her 20’s and pregnant for the first time. I saw her after she had already seen her OB doctor and nurse for education. While working with her on her meal plan, I asked about her blood sugar control and how often she was checking blood sugars. She told me her numbers, and they seemed okay. I then asked her the name of her meter for my own records. She couldn’t tell me her meter name. So she pulled it out of her purse. It was…
a huge monstrosity of a meter — I had never seen one like it. I asked her where she got it. She said, “My grandmother gave it to me just before she died 7 years ago.” I then asked to see her bottle of strips — they had expired 5 years earlier.
Needless to say, we got her a new meter and fresh strips that day! She did end up having a healthy baby despite using a dinosaur meter with expired strips for the first 3 months of her pregnancy.
We need to do more than just ask patients IF they are checking blood sugars and if they have a meter! Patients should be getting a new meter every 12 months or less because the newer meters are more accurate and take less blood.
Jeri Mills, MHR, RD/LD, CDE
OU Physicians Internal Medicine
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