How accurate is our meter?

Ok I’m doing basal testing for the morning and this is day three. At 11:30 last night I was at 173–Halloween. I took my suggested bolus and this morning I test and I’m at 133 at 6AM. I did drink a diet coke aroound 7 and I am scheduled to test at 6, 8, 10, and 12. At 8AM my BG reads 193. I test another finger and milked it 4 times before taking a sample and it’s 155. I clean another finger with alcohol swab and milk it and I get 145.

I can understand a little variation in results but over 45 points is a little to much. Especially when the machine is going to give you insulin based on the readings. No other spikes have I seen during the other two days of basal testing.

Need advice----Invite advice—Demand advice–Please give advice.


I haven’t tried the multiple test thing yet but it sounds intriguing. Are you sure your fingers were clean before your initial tests? If you have any food residue on them like sugar or fruit that will certainly raise the reading. A good rule of thumb is to thoroughly wash your hands before testing and use an alcohol wipe to clean the test finger before pricking…but I realize that in the real world this stringent method doesn’t hold water.

You should have gotten a small bottle of control fluid with the meter; use that for testing as it has a known glucose content (printed on the bottle). If the meter shows more than 10-15% variation using the control liquid on a consistent basis, I’d definitely call Insulet and let them know. Maybe they need to replace your PDM/meter.
BTW, if you 't don’t have a bottle of control fluid, I’m pretty sure you can get one at the local pharmacy; ask the pharmacist or pham technician.

Great point Eric. I have calabrated every meter I have used every other week. I know that may be extreme, but calabration should at least be done monthly.

John: The only thing that I had on my hands is Purell Hand Sanitizer.

Eric: I do not have the control solution with me. I left it with the back up meter that came with the starter kit. I was trying to cut down the bulk of the pack. I’ll check it this evening when I get home.


I get a lot of error 3’s I think? I have probably had about 10 of those so far, where the strip does not take the blood in, and I have to change the strip. I do get some random numbers sometimes and I retest. I use my arm all the time, but at night I use my fingers. I hope we get some new pdms soon anyways.

Mine seems to run about 10 points different than my old Freestyle Lite.
Try testing on two meters at the same time.


depending on the brand of your meter you have to check that when using the control solution the range on your meter matches the range for those strips. if you believe your sugar level is not accurate try measuring again with the same meter. sometimes the strips are damaged.

i used the onetouch but now i use the bayer breeze2. it is very accurate and cheap. at least it works for me. before i forget, the control solution expires so you can generally buy more.


The PDM test reads about 10 points higher than my One Touch Meter…I try not to compare meters…strips cost too much:)

I have not run a control test with the control solution, but both my PDM and the back up meter that came with the starter kit seem to agree. Kind of scares me that I may not have good circulation in the old index finger.

Thanks Guys

Did a control test and it showed an accurate reading of 91. So I have no idea why I got such a varied result the other day.

I tested using the PDM and the little Freestyle Flash that came with the starter kit and they were within two points of each other.


I would probably chalk it up to DIABETES! ( I really hate to say that, but sometimes it’s true.) Just keep hanging in there and pretty soon you’re really gonna love your pod.

I just did a comparison of the PDM with my old Freestyle Flash meter. I was 87 on the PDM and 98 on the Flash. I don’t think I’ve ever done this test before, but the results were similar to what others are reporting – about 10 points higher on the Flash.

Standard accuracy on most glucometers is 20%, dont assume you will get more. Also dont confuse accuracy with precision (ie repeatability). Provided the meter gives a reading within 20% of the true value, it is performing as intended - That does not necessarily mean the value will be the SAME each time, so dont expect it to be - its just the reality of the physics and chemistry of the problem. This is true of more or less any consumer glucometer on the market. It is possible to build meters with current technology that have much higher accuracy, but they would be completely out of the price range of most normal mortals - like the ones the lab uses.

“Those with many meters are never sure what their blood glucose is…”

I just did this and they were only 6 points different, so this is good, but I have only done it once.