What Is The Difference Between A Finger Stick Blood Glucose Test And A Plasma Glucose Test?

Question: What is the difference between a finger stick test and a plasma test?

Answer: A finger stick glucose test is exactly what it is: it's a finger stick. So a little poke is make in the finger, and a little teeny, tiny drop of blood is withdrawn. And in that capillary blood we're able to determine blood sugar levels. And that's become a very good way to test blood sugars. You know, we have blood glucose meters now -- the technology's fantastic, where people, hospitals, doctors' offices can use the meter and use a finger stick to be able to determine a blood sugar level at that time.

A plasma glucose level is also important and is used for other reasons, but this is blood that is taken from the vein and sent to a laboratory. Now, sometimes those two numbers don't always correlate directly, so there might be a slight different between the two. And if there is a slight difference, I think that's something that a person with diabetes would want to discuss with their physician or their nurse.

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