ABOUT ALTERNATIVE SITE TESTING (AST)
Important: There are limitations for doing AST.
Please consult your healthcare professional before you do AST.
What is AST?
Alternative site testing (AST) means that people use parts of the body other than fingertips to check their blood glucose levels.
This system allows you to test on the palm, the forearm, the upper arm, the calf, or the thigh with he equivalent results to fingertip testing.
What’s the advantage?
Fingertips feel pain more readily because they are full of nerve endings (receptors).
At other body sites, since nerve endings are not so concentrated, you will not feel as much pain as at the fingertip.
When to use AST?
Food, medication, illness, stress and exercise can affect blood glucose levels.
Capillary blood at fingertip reflects these changes faster than capillary blood at other sites.
Alternative site results may be different from fingertip results when glucose levels are changing
rapidly (e.g., after a meal, after taking insulin, or during or after exercise).
Therefore when testing blood glucose during or immediately after a meal, physical exercise,
or after taking insulin, take blood sample from your finger only.
We strongly recommend you do AST ONLY in the following intervals:
- In a pre-meal or fasting state (more than 2 hours since the last meal).
- Two hours or more after taking insulin.
- Two hours or more after exercise.
Do NOT use AST if:
- You think your blood glucose is low.
- You are unable to notice symptoms of hypoglycemia.
- Your AST results do not match the way you feel.
- You are testing for hyperglycemia.
- Your routine glucose results are often fluctuating.
- You are or may be pregnant.
How to increase the accuracy?
Stimulating blood perfusion by rubbing the puncture site prior to blood extraction has a significant influence on the glucose value obtained. Blood from the site without rubbing exhibits a measurably different glucose concentration than blood from the finger. When the puncture site was rubbed prior to blood extraction, the difference was significantly reduced.
NOTE: We suggest that before getting a drop of blood rub the puncture site about 20 seconds before penetration.