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August 17, 2000

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections

Question from Houston, Texas, USA:

Does anyone have experience with the "At Last" meter by Amira Medical being used for a child (age nine)? My concern is the child's ability to properly use the meter, correct motion "press and release" and the accuracy of the meter with children operating it. Clinical trials on the Amira website indicate test subjects were over 20 years of age.

Answer:

The AtLast meter is very new to the market and I’m sure we’ll have more information on its use in children in a few months. However, the children that have borrowed my demo meter have been very pleased with the pokes from the meter — very little if any pain when used on the forearm. However, the technique is a bit difficult for children as you need to “pump” the entire meter up and down at least three times. Occasionally, this does not produce enough blood for a sample and needs to be redone. In addition, it takes longer than standard finger testing. A child should easily be able to learn the technique, but the increased time needed for the test will be problematic.

MSB
Additional comments from Virginia Valentine, diabetes nurse specialist:

We were involved in a clinical trial with this meter and I am sure a child will be able to use it successfully, just as he could learn any other meter. It takes a very small amount of blood and you really can’t feel it at all.

VV