Capillary Blood Glucose

What You Should Know about Capillary Blood Glucose Testing

Current methods of capillary blood glucose testing have been around since the 1970’s. Capillary blood glucose testing is important for diabetics that need continual monitoring of their blood glucose levels.

If you or someone in your family has been recently diagnosed with diabetes, or is at a substantial risk for it, your doctor likely instructed you to begin monitoring your blood glucose levels. This can be a confusing and intimidating task for people at first, and so this guide was compiled to explain the proper general steps to run a capillary blood glucose test. If you continue having problems and difficulties, consult your doctor. He or she may be able to give you guided training in these matters.

A Brief Overview of the Process

For all intents and purposes, capillary blood glucose testing is a fairly simple procedure, although special care must be taken at all times or the test could be inaccurate. A shallow prick is made in the skin and a small amount of blood is squeezed out onto a test strip. Blood glucose levels are then analyzed and you can know what your glucose levels are at. It’s also recommended that you write down your results in a journal or on a notepad so that you can show your doctor during your visits.

Is There Pain Involved?

In the 1970’s, one could expect a decent amount of pain from this type of testing. Methods, although effective, were a bit brutish and one could expect to have very sore fingers from all the poking and squeezing.

Thankfully, many strides have been made in capillary blood glucose testing, and there are several “pain free” devices on the market that can automatically puncture your skin in areas other than your sensitive fingers. If you cannot afford one of these devices, there are other methods you can utilize to reduce pain. Poking the side of your finger, for example, allows you to avoid sensitive nerve endings.

Required Supplies

In order to perform a blood glucose test, you will need certain items. Your doctor will likely give you recommendations on brands, and places where these items can be purchased, but any decent pharmacy should carry everything you need.

To begin with, you will need lancets and testing strips. One the blood sample has been gathered, you will need to process it in a blood glucose monitor. Alcohol wipes are also needed, since any impurities or oils on the skin can affect the test results. As stated before, you may wish to purchase a special notebook or journal to record your results. Finally, if you have a tendency to bleed more than an average person, you may want to invest in some gauze or small bandages for your fingers.

Performing the Test

Begin by readying your monitor and inserting the test strip so that the collection area is facing towards you. Your monitor may have on screen instructions for you to follow in this process, or you may need to refer to the user manual just in case.


Make sure you properly sanitize your fingers. Wash them first in warm water to remove any dirt, and then use an alcohol wipe to sanitize the area. When your skin is clean and dry, place your lancet pen against the desired area of your finger and depress the button. If you don’t have an automatic lancet, hold the piercing end about two inches from your skin and then quickly poke your finger with enough force to pierce the surface of the skin. It is very important that you wipe away the first drop of blood.

After the first drop is wiped, squeeze the area moving inwards towards the puncture mark. Place a drop of the blood onto the testing strip following your user manual’s instructions. Give your monitor time to work, but check that it accepts the sample provided. During this time, you may want to be putting a bandage on your finger, or applying firm pressure. Finally, record your test results.