September 20, 2001
Blood Tests and Insulin Injections, School and Daycare
Question from a Certified Diabetes Educator in eastern North Carolina, USA:
One local school here is asking that the parents provide documentation on a weekly basis of the calibration procedure and results for each child with diabetes, claiming that CLIA regulations are driving this request. This seems like overkill to me. With most meters, the calibration efforts are for making sure your meter is prepared to read the strips based on code numbers. Do schools generally require meter calibration by the parents on a routine basis? Do you have any comments on this practice for kids in schools?
Until your letter, I was not aware of any schools requiring such calibration. I do not know whether CLIA [Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments] has jurisdiction in the schools, but at any rate, it seems like a good idea to have parents provide documentation of calibration, including using control solution. This is especially important if the child gets a correction dose of insulin at school because decisions are being made on the numbers generated by the child’s meter. The school nurse is the one legally responsible for these decisions, and needs some assurance that her judgement was not clouded by faulty numbers.
The problem is that not too many people check out meters on a regular basis. Please see the results and comments from a recent poll we conducted on this topic.
[Editor’s comment: We will run a poll on this subject in the near future.