What to Do With Expired Diabetic Test Strips
Posted on January 11, 2023 at 02AM
A crucial component of effective diabetes management is routine blood glucose monitoring. Monitoring blood sugar levels enables you to make decisions regarding your diet, exercise or any physical activity, and medication schedule in cooperation with your medical team. These are all important choices that can postpone or avert the consequences of diabetes, like blindness, heart attack, and amputation.
You may be wondering if your diabetic test strips are expired. What to do about it? This article will explain how or what to do with expired diabetic test strips, so keep reading.
What are Diabetic Test Strips?
People use diabetic test strips to monitor and regulate blood sugar levels. An electrochemical process known as electrochemistry transforms blood and glucose into an electrical current. Users can use this subsequently be converted into numbers and a glucose level using a glucometer and a specially constructed test strip.
Plastic is the primary material used to make test strips. Still, they also have a covering of gold in such a pattern that forms a circuit that reads the glucose levels, allowing a person with diabetes to accurately dose the appropriate amount of insulin to regulate the glucose and prevent it from rising to dangerous levels or causing other problems in the body.
A person with diabetes must prick their finger to obtain some blood and then follow the directions to test their blood glucose levels using a small instrument called a glucometer to use the glucose test strips. After that, individuals can take corrective measures for any readings that may be hazardous or inaccurate compared to what a typical reading should be.
Do diabetes test strips expire?
This question has a resounding “yes” as the answer. There is an expiration date on diabetic test strips. Why? Because live enzymes are used in diabetic test strips to evaluate blood sugar levels. Essentially, the test strips are designed with specific proteins covering the end, which interact with glucose in the blood to generate an electrical current, which the glucose meter uses to determine the blood sugar level in the sample. The problem is that living things manufacture these enzymes. It means that they are finite and will inevitably degrade with time. As you may expect, blood sugar levels’ accuracy can be jeopardized if this breakdown occurs. Although these test strips may appear as tiny pieces of plastic, they are sophisticated medical devices requiring great sensitivity.
How long does a diabetes test strip last?
How long do these blood sugar test strips last? The question of whether it’s a safe thing for people with diabetes to use expired test strips has indeed been an issue for a while. According to some, if test strips are appropriately stored and protected from damage, people with diabetes can use them shortly after expiration. However, its performance and effectiveness may result in a blood sugar level that needs to be more accurate.
What makes these diabetic test strips very unique?
Diabetes test strips are crucial in monitoring blood sugar (glucose). These strips may not look fancy, but they allow glucometer devices to “read” blood sugar levels. These readings offer helpful information that helps evaluate whether consuming food, liquids, or insulin is necessary to raise levels and whether changing activities at specific times throughout the day is essential. During the day, blood sugar levels rise or decrease, but people with diabetes must closely monitor these changes.
The main component of glucose test strips is thin, flexible plastic. A glucose oxidase enzyme coats the test strip’s tip in a small area, which reacts with a blood sample to produce gluconic acid. Once a drop of blood is applied to the test strip and inserted into the glucose meter, the glucose meter transmits a small stream of electrons to the end of the strip.
The enzyme in this strip allows that device to “read” it’s current flowing between the terminals and use an algorithm to calculate the blood glucose levels.
Even though numerous brands are available, manufacturers make most glucose test strips similarly. The strip’s upper layer gathers the blood. The middle layer functions as a filter, allowing your blood sample to get to the stabilizing substances and glucose oxidase, where the testing occurs.
The chemicals’ stability, lifetime, and accuracy vary by age, brand, and other characteristics. When evaluating the usage of expired strips, these aspects are crucial.
About its expiration dates
Brands of test strips typically include a use-by date. The FDA recommends not using the strips after that time to ensure reliable results. Test strip storage and care guidelines are stated on the box or in printed inserts.
Test strips in humidity, heat, and moisture environments may produce inaccurate findings. Any temperatures outside the manufacturer’s advised range may harm test strips and impair accuracy.
Always heed the usage instructions provided by the manufacturer. By the Use By date, major companies advise throwing away test strips and control solutions. Other glucose meters are unable to read expired test strips. At the same time, some producers sell exclusive glucose meters that can only read their particular brand of test strips (carefully read through the fine print before purchasing a meter).
Why would someone buy expired test strips in the first place?
Why take a chance by purchasing test strips that have expired? Cost. The cost of test strips is high. According to a recent article by The New York Times, insurance coverage frequently changes, leaving patients with little choice except to buy updated monitors and the testing strips that go along with them, which are often more expensive. Patients frequently have unused strips when they have to swap.
Selling these unused strips can help seniors on tight budgets make ends meet. Unfortunately, some diabetics cut back on self-testing to save money and cash on test strips. By not testing themselves as frequently as they should, a diabetic who sells their test strips to make additional cash and money endangers their health.
Risks of utilizing expired test strips
Saving money will always be crucial, but the FDA advises and cautions against using expired or previously owned strips because it may not be a long-term safe practice. The organization recently issued a press release advising not to use test strips that someone has already used. Patients who depend on the accuracy of these tests to monitor results and to treat their diabetes may be at an elevated risk of suffering significant harm (or even death) as a result of doing this.
For some reason, purchasing expired strips online through marketplace websites like eBay, craigslist, or privately held “cash for strips” websites is not advisable.For accurate results, you must store the test strips and adequately have brand-new, sealed boxes. False low or high readings from improper strip storage might alter insulin dosages and even cause a medical emergency. You never know how its former owners treated these strips or where they originated.
The risk of erroneous readings necessary for maintaining blood sugar levels increases when test strips are outdated or degraded due to poor storage. Inaccurate readings could result in various health problems, such as blood sugar levels that are higher than usual (hyperglycemia). When the body doesn’t have enough insulin, ketoacidosis or a diabetic coma can result from hyperglycemia. Ketones accumulate in the blood and cause a medical emergency when the body fails to dissolve and utilize glucose for fuel.
Additionally, a misleading reading could show that blood sugar levels are lower than they should be when they are higher. Hypoglycemia or treating low blood sugar is crucial as it can be equally harmful as high blood sugar. Low blood sugar levels can cause various health problems, such as an irregular heartbeat, blurred vision, confusion, seizures, and unconsciousness.
Possibility of contracting bloodborne infections The risk of contracting HIV, hepatitis, and other illnesses increases if you buy used test strips from unreliable vendors or strangers.
When they expire, can they still be used?
Using expired glucose test strips should not be a regular practice. Using it might affect the test’s accuracy, causing incorrect readings and the missed detection of any health conditions. It can lead to significant financial loss and potentially impact fatal health issues.
Accurate readings have the potential to quickly reveal life-threatening illnesses, such as how much insulin to administer and, most gravely, a heart attack or stroke. In terms of contamination, using expired diabetic test strips may also be risky.
Since expired strips are a delicate device with such a delicate mechanism and since diabetes is sometimes such a prevalent condition, it is crucial to follow the guidelines to monitor glucose levels in a safe manner that will be accurate. Generally, reusing strips or even using expired ones may result in some unhappy & unwanted results, so it is best to comply with the instructions for when they have expired.
Correcting this to maintain therapy and control over a particular condition is essential because it’s one of the only methods for managing diabetes. Understandably, some people may find the cost of such test strips to be bothersome, and occasionally they may need help to buy new test strips. Although this may be the case, it is still advisable to strive to obtain unexpired since they will produce the most precise readings.
The best way to use your expired test strips
Test strips are a valuable resource for those with diabetes, so knowing how to make the most of your supplies is essential. If you have expired test strips, there are still ways to use them that may help you manage your blood glucose levels.
One way is to use them as backup strips in an emergency. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you don’t have access to new test strips, expired strips can be helpful in a pinch. Of course, it should only be done in an emergency, not as a regular practice.
Another use for expired test strips is that they are accessible for record-keeping purposes. For example, if you’re tracking patterns or noticing changes in your blood sugar levels over time, using expired test strips to gather data can be very useful in helping you create an overall picture of your health.
Finally, many people donate their expired test strips to charities and organizations that provide them free of charge to those who cannot afford them. By donating your unused or expired test strips, you can help others while simultaneously cleaning out your stockpile.
For Safely Disposing of Expired Diabetic Test Strips
It’s contentious how to dispose of test strips that have expired. A quick online search reveals three distinct responses. The first option is throwing it in the garbage or trash can. However, because a person using a glucose tester will also be disposing of it sharply, it can be challenging to determine how to reduce the waste to dispose of it properly. Apart from medical sharps, they aren’t needles or pointed objects that might hurt another person or test strips used for unethical situations.
While sharps collector bins are usually available in public restrooms for sharps, disposing of expired test strips may be more challenging, depending on the effort recommended. If possible, dispose of the used test strips and other recyclables at a recycling or waste facility. The parts of the test strip may be reusable in some way, especially if they are still undamaged.
You can throw away a Test strip in the garbage can or landfill with other used garbage. There has been a suggestion to mix discarded or expired test strips with unwanted materials such as cat litter and coffee grounds to make them completely unusable. Since there are other options, such as looking for probable locations that will accept unused medications, either expired or not, back, this step isn’t necessary.
In conclusion, what action should you need to do with your expired diabetic test strips? First and foremost, it is vital to safely dispose of them to ensure that the environment and other people’s lives are not affected. Suppose you can find a local charity and organization that takes donations of expired diabetic test strips. In that case, this is the ideal solution. However, this is not an option. You could always consider selling them on an online marketplace where buyers from websites often buy. Shipping to the buyers’ side will enable you to get some cash and money back while ensuring that the test strips are disposed of without errors and safely. Ultimately, whatever you choose to do with your expired diabetic test strips, make sure that you do it responsibly!
Do not wait for your diabetic test strips to expire. If you have unused, undamaged, and unexpired test strips, we at More Cash For Test Strips will buy your test strips. In most cases, the difference between others and ours is that we provide transparent pricing. If you are unsure, we do have testimonials from our previous clients’ experiences with us as your basis to consider. For more questions and information, please call us at (310) 892-2808.
For more information on how https://morecashforteststrips.com/ can help you with What to Do With Expired Diabetic Test Strips, please contact us at 310-892-2808, or visit us here:
More Cash For Test Strips
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