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First drop or Second?

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When testing BS with my meter should I use the first drop or wipe that away and use the second for testing?  The reason I question it is when last at the endo office they tested my A1C there and she used the second drop.
posted Apr 4 in Conversation by Donna (530 points)

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17 replies

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I use the first drop and have seen many people test. They do the same thing.
answered Apr 4 by Cindycamp (370 points)
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I use the first drop for testing. I don't know of any medical reason not to.
answered Apr 5 by Janis (1,270 points)
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This is a great question - I've never heard of using the second drop instead of the first.  Like others have commented, I too always use the first drop.  If I'm being totally honest, I often don't even wash my hands before testing, which I know is totally against recommendations.
answered Apr 5 by KarenG (16,340 points)

Okay, I just found this article at the Mayo Clinic website about this topic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/expert-blog/testing-blood-sugar/bgp-20056579

The conclusion was: 

The conclusion of this study, which included 123 participants, is: "The first drop of blood can be used for self-monitored glucose testing, but only after washing hands. If washing hands is not possible and they are not visibly soiled or exposed to a sugar-containing product, it is acceptable to use the second drop of blood after wiping away the first drop." The study also found that external pressure (or squeezing) of the finger can lead to unreliable readings, as well.

Pretty interesting!!

answered Apr 5 by KarenG (16,340 points)
I use the first drop and if the result seems off I will test again with a second drop.  I always wash my hands with soap and warm water and dry on a towel that is only used for testing..  I clean my meter, the outside of my strips canister and my lancing device, weekly with Clorox wipes as recommended by the manufacturer to avoid contamination.  If I use a home A1C test though.  I always do use the second drop to make sure there is no chance of contamination.  I think the reason the Drs office uses the second drop on a finger prick A1C test is that alcohol residue can throw off the results and they always clean your finger with alcohol first.  If I have to use an alcohol pad to clean my finger to test when away from home, I wipe the alcohol off with a clean tissue before I stick myself.
answered Apr 11 by anonymous
edited Apr 11
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I use the second drop.
answered Apr 11 by ginkgoleaf (200 points)
I had never even considered this. I have always just gone with the first. You have piqued my curiosity though. I wonder what benefits come with using the second drop or if it was just a personal thing for your nurse. I'm looking forward to seeing what others say. Thanks gor adking the question.
answered Apr 12 by MamaLini (200 points)
I just saw the part about squeezing the finger to get it to bleed causing inaccurate results. Holy Cow! There are a lot of times when this is the only way I can get enough blood to test. How do you fix that???
First drop.....and honestly, I'm lucky if I remember to test at all, much less wash my hands!  (Uhhh, that never happens unless the result is something totally wacko!)
answered Apr 12 by bayleafbroker (1,450 points)
Particularly when my hands are cold, I'm lucky to get one drop, even when I've rubbed my hands together to warm them up.
answered Apr 12 by brittonk (540 points)
I have always used the first drop.
answered Apr 12 by Tanya (520 points)