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From Fernie, British Columbia, Canada:

My five year old son, who has type 1 diabetes diagnosed just over a year ago, has a terrible time having his A1c test done because our hospital only does testing by drawing blood from his vein (which is terrifying and painful for him, even with the use of EMLA Cream). The hospital in Calgary does a finger stick method, but we seldom get there.

I read about of the home test kit from Flexsite that you advertise on your home page. Is this method reliable? Do you recommend this option?


First of all, the hemoglobin A1c test is done in their own laboratory, it may be that a much smaller sample would suffice. More importantly, it might thus be possible to obtain this sample with what is called a butterfly needle from the back of the hand. This process is much less alarming, but it does need a lab technician or a nurse who is used to doing this in children.

If the latter approach is not available, and especially if Canadian Insurance will foot the cost, I would move to the FlexSite method until your son gets a little older. At the same time, proficiency testing in the US has shown that there is still a considerable disparity between A1c results when different methodologies are used. For this reason, I would be inclined not to get the A1c test in Calgary (just the cholesterol and TSH), but to do a FlexSite test about one week before so that the result is available for the visit to the doctor.and all A1c tests are done by the same method.


Original posting 13 Aug 2001
Posted to Blood Tests and Insulin Injections


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:24
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