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EMS Skills – Blood Glucose Measurement

August 31, 2019

Blood glucose measurement is
a skill that should be considered on all patients
with an altered level of consciousness. Even though each device differs
slightly, there are some general important points
that should be considered when performing this skill. Always use appropriate body
substance isolation precautions. Make sure the unit is
calibrated per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Check the expiration dates on
individual test strips, and make sure the test strips have
not been damaged or bent. When performing the skill,
prepare all the necessary equipment, including the
glucometer, lancet devices, alcohol wipes, sharps
container, and Band-Aids in advance. Make sure to clean the finger
with an alcohol prep pad allowing the area to dry for
approximately 30 seconds as you continue to keep that area
of the finger clean. Turn the unit on by following
the manufacturer’s directions, although some units may
turn on by inserting a test strip alone. Confirm that the test strip code
matches the display on the glucometer. Poke the finger with
the lancet to obtain the blood sample. It’s often easier to obtain a
blood sample if you’re able to milk the finger in order
to get more blood to the distal tip. Make sure to place the lancet
in the sharps container. Some protocols may suggest
wiping away the first drop of blood and using the second
for the sample reading. Apply the blood to
the test strip. Many units have a count down and
will give you a reading in a few seconds. When the measurement is
completed, record it as milligrams per deciliter. Cover the puncture
site with the Band-Aid if bleeding continues.

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