During a recent trip to Seattle, I wandered into a comic book store. As I laid eyes on packages of Garbage Pail Kids (GPK) from the 1980s, I was immediately taken back to memory lane as I used to collect these cards as a child. I purchased a few packages for memorabilia sake and came across the 1987 “Bloody Mary” card. My first thought after seeing this card was how far technology has advanced in the past 10 years with regards to diabetes care. Gone are the days where large amounts of blood are required for glucose testing. New technology allows for a smaller sample of blood, spring loaded lancets, no code devices, and even alternate site testing. It’s important to keep up with the glucometer technology, devices that are more than two years old should be updated.
People with diabetes: To avoid looking like “Bloody Mary,” talk to your health care provider about updating your glucometer to allow for the smallest sample of blood possible. Generally speaking, if your glucometer is larger than the palm of your hand you probably need a new one.
Health care providers: Don’t forget to ask your patients when they got their last glucometer. Help them keep track of when their glucometer needs to be updated and provide education about alternate site testing to those who are interested. Work with glucometer representatives in your area so that you can provide sample glucometers to your patients.