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From Houston, Texas, USA:

My 11 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 when he was 8. He tests his blood sugar 5 to 7 times a day. He is having trouble getting blood from the largest 3 fingers and thumbs on each hand at night or early in the morning. Is this a symptom of an emerging circulation problem?


The difficulty with finger sticking is extremely unlikely to be due to any microvascular complication. I don't know if another family member is present at the time, but it is important to warm the hands first and to prick the terminal phalanx of the finger, but not the middle of the pulp. Also you should make sure that lancets are changed each time and if one is not already in use you should consider a device for holding and activating the lancet such as the one made by Medisense. The apparent difficulty may also be a plea for some other family member to at least sometimes take responsibility for the blood drawing and it is perhaps also a way of asking whether he really needs to test 7 times a day.

You will be pleased to know that non-invasive meters are in their final clinical trials and hopefully should be available with some limitations later this year.


[Editor's comment: Some blood glucose meters take less blood than others. I suggest you investigate the Bayer Glucometer Elite, Bayer Glucometer Dex, LifeScan FastTake, and MediSense Precision QID. These meters all require very little blood, which can make a difference for people who have trouble getting a large drop. JSH]

Original posting 5 May 1999
Posted to Blood Tests and Insulin Injections


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