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Question:

From Santa Cruz, California, USA:

We recently switched from a One-Touch meter to the new Profile model. Boy did we get a nasty surprise last week! My 10 year old son tested his blood as usual and called out to me that he was "high." I asked, "How high?" thinking it was 300 or something. But he replied, "High like in 'H' 'I'!" The new meter reads "HI" instead of the old meter's "HIGH." So I ask him, "Are you sure?" and he says yes and so I glance at the meter and see what looks like "HI" and give him 4 extra units of Regular to bring the blood sugar down. About 45 minutes later he has a severe hypo seizure and - unlike the other two times we have experienced this in the last six years - I cannot get him "out of it" with the squeeze glucose. This went on for a while with me giving him what seemed like enough oral sugar to bring his blood sugar up. Finally I test his blood. It was 120 but he was still unconscious. At this point I start to think something must be wrong; on impulse I click the memory button on the meter to see what the test before the "HI" reading was and I almost drop dead: the meter did not read "HI" it read "41." The digital read out on the monitor made 41 look just like HI, in fact - as it occurred to me - so could 21, 31, 51, etc.

Anyway, now I realize we have a serious problem as my son was low when we thought he was really high and he has had way too much insulin! I gave him a shot of Glucagon which woke him up to the point where he knew his name and what had happened so I let him sleep, testing his blood every hour. It never got about 110 (even with the Glucagon) until around 6 P.M. that night (this happened in the morning). What a nightmare! Anyway, the obvious solution is to read the meter more carefully, and I would like to take this time to warn other One-Touch users out there, but with a busy ten year old I've decided to go back to our old meter where HIGH spells out the situation in clear letters.

Answer:

This is the first time I have heard of a problem like this with the Profile, and a lot of my patients do use this meter. It sounds like it was a very scary and frustrating experience. I would recommend letting the Lifescan company know about the problem you had with reading the correct result on the display. Their phone number is on the back of your meter.

Another feature of the Profile meter is that it flashes to check ketones and call your doctor when the blood sugar is high.

In the meantime, work with your son to help prevent this from happening again.

LM

Additional comment from Jeff Hitchcock:

According to the Owner's Booklet that comes with the meter, the One Touch Profile beeps and displays the following graphic when the blood sugar reading is above 600 mg/dl (33.3 mmol/l):

Everyone who switches to a new blood glucose meter should read the new product manual carefully before using the meter. The new meter, even if an updated version or another meter from the same manufacturer, may display different messages or be operated differently than the old meter.

JSH

Original posting 11 Oct 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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