Diabetic test strips do expire. The enzymes and chemicals that make up diabetic test strips degrade over time. Test strips that are old enough will eventually give you bad information. One person might be able to use an expired test strip and have no problems while another patient might have a problem with their readings. How can you tell if it is okay to use expired diabetic test strips? It all depends on how much you want to put your health at risk.
With the high cost of test strips, patients wonder if using expired diabetic test strips make a difference. There are different answers depending on what article you read. If you read this study, Glucomart’s using expired test strips, it would seem okay to use expired test strips within 1 to 2 years after the expiration date. That could be like playing Russian Roulette with your health.
Recently a patient came into the office who thought it would be okay to use the expired test strips. The patient said that the strips were only 5 months over the expiration date. The strips were reading within the normal range and they figured everything was going along just fine. They said that it felt like their blood sugar was under control. Unfortunately, if those test strips were reading correctly, they would have realized that their blood sugar was VERY HIGH. In fact, their blood sugar levels were so high that it caused them to go into a diabetic coma for 5 weeks! We are very glad to report that this patient is doing much better and looks great.
At Hollowbrook Foot Specialist, we want all of our diabetic patients to realize the seriousness of using expired test strips. If we can help keep even one patient from being hospitalized, we would be happy.
Hollowbrook Foot Specialist – serving the Hudson Valley from Wappingers Falls.
By David Schlam