Fingerstick Testing in Cold Weather

Blood glucose meters seem to be designed to work for the most part in indoor temperatures. On occasion, I test outdoors in the cold (usually with the OneTouch) and I think it gives me results that are considerably lower than my real blood sugar.
Is anyone aware of a meter that functions well in cold outdoor weather? (The OneTouch is not supposed to be accurate below about 45 degrees or so. I can’t remember the exact range.)
Does anyone have any tips for testing in the cold?

I have had meters in the past that will refuse to work (showing low temperature warning) when the meter was too cold. AccuChek Compact was an example. I don’t know if my current meter has such a temperature warning.

In cold weather I will usually carry my meter inside my coat, like in a shirt pocket, and this keeps it warm enough.

I have had troubles with getting a good drop of blood outdoors in very cold and windy conditions. I make an effort to keep my fingers from getting too cold, but I swear sometimes the very surface of the drop freezes solid within a second and then it’s useless. Sometimes shielding my fingertips from the wind with my jacket has helped.

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I second the idea of using a shirt pocket, which would certainly be warm enough. But if I didn’t have a pocket, my next go-to would be my armpit. If it was REALLY cold out there, I might stick my fingers there too! :laughing:

There are multiple hand-warming devices - gloves, rechargeable devices and single -use paks that last up to 7 hours. The later are less than a dollar each in bulk. But it would have to be pretty cold before I would go to that extreme.

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So, is it the temperature of the pump that matters or the temperature of the strips? I would think that a strip kept in a warm environment will cool down pretty fast if it’s taken out and inserted in a meter – they’re pretty thin. The meter I can imagine holding it’s heat for at least a few minutes.
I guess what I’m asking is, if my pump and strips have been kept warm (next to my body or with a warming device), then I can take them out in the cold and test and it will be accurate even if the ambient temperature is around freezing or below?
Thanks so much for your tips!

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On two separate occasions I have used a ReliOn Micro when it was exposed to temperatures in the 20’s for several hours. The meter will give a warning symbol that the temperature is considered out of range, but the meter always gave me proper results even after being exposed to those temps. The strips were also exposed for several hours, and I had no problem.

The biggest problem at those temps is getting blood out of your fingers. I use a bigger gauge lancet to help with that. If you normally use a 33 gauge, go to a 30. If you normally use the 30, drop down to a 28.

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My past experience agrees with yours, if there is a meter error due to cold weather (or cold blood or cold test strips) it tends to cause the meter reading to be lower than reality.

I will try some A/B tests tonight in 30-degree outside weather vs inside the house 64 degree weather with my current strips (OneTouch Verio)

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