Frequently Asked Questions

Blood Pressure

What is Systolic blood pressure?

Systolic or upper blood pressure is created when the heart muscle contracts and blood is being forced into the arteries.

What is Diastolic blood pressure?

Diastolic or lower blood pressure is created when the heart muscle relaxes to fill the heart with blood.

What is the measurement value for blood pressure?

mmHg – millimeters of mercury

What are the guidelines for assessing blood pressure values as set by the World Health Organization (WHO)?

Systolic/Diastolic
Too High: > 140 mmHg / 90 mmHg
Normal/Borderline High: 130-139 mmHg / 85-89 mmHg
Normal: 120-129 mmHg / 80-84 mmHg

When should I take my blood pressure?

Always take your blood pressure when you are calm and relaxed. It is recommended that you do two checks daily, on getting up in the morning and again just before you go to sleep.

How should I take my blood pressure?

The measurement is taken on the upper arm. Ensure there are no restrictions from rolled up sleeves or other garments. Take the measurement when you are sitting down. Sit in a comfortable chair and keep your arm absolutely still while taking the measurement. Do not talk while taking the measurement. Allow an interval of at least 2 minutes between taking successive measurements.

Cholesterol

What is Total Cholesterol?

Your Total Cholesterol level is the sum of all the types of cholesterol in your blood. The higher your total cholesterol, the greater your risk for heart disease. A total cholesterol level of under 5.18 mmol/L is desirable.

What is HDL Cholesterol?

HDL Cholesterol is known as “good” cholesterol because high levels of HDL can protect against heart attack. Medical experts believe that HDL carries cholesterol away from the arteries and removes excess cholesterol from arterial plaque, slowing its buildup. For HDL cholesterol, higher levels are better. An HDL level above 1.55 mmol/L is desirable.

What is LDL Cholesterol?

When LDL (bad) Cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain. This “plaque” is a thick, hard deposit that can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible. Heart attack or stroke can result if a clot forms or an artery is blocked. A LDL cholesterol below 2.59 mmol/L is optimal.

What is Triglycerides?

Triglycerides are a form of fat that the body uses to store energy. Elevated triglycerides can be due to physical inactivity, cigarette smoking, excess alcohol consumption, being overweight/obese, and a diet very high in carbohydrates. Triglyceride levels of less than 1.70 mmol/L are desirable.

What is the measurement value for Cholesterol?

mmol/L – millimols per litre

What should my Total Cholesterol be?

Less than 5.18 mmol/L Lower Risk
5.18 to 6.19 mmol/L Borderline High
6.20 mmol/L and above Higher Risk

What should my HDL (Good) Cholesterol be?

Less than 1.04 mmol/L At Risk
1.04 to 1.54 mmol/L Borderline to Near Optimal
1.55 mmol/L and above Optimal

What should my LDL (Bad) Cholesterol be?

Less than 2.59 mmol/L Optimal
2.59 to 3.34 mmol/L Near Optimal
3.35 to 4.12 mmol/L Borderline High
4.13 to 4.90 mmol/L High
4.91 mmol/L and above Very High

What should my Triglycerides be?

Less than 1.70 mmol/L Normal
1.70 to 2.25 mmol/L Borderline High
2.26 to 5.64 mmol/L High
5.65 mmol/L and above Very High

i-Sens

CareSens Glucose Monitors
For general information about CareSens glucose monitors we have completed a list of frequently asked questions. For specific information about your meter, please refer to your User Guide. For any other problems please contact us.

I’ve inserted a test strip, but the meter doesn’t turn on.

It may be because you failed to completely insert the test strip. Insert the strip completely. Check that the battery is inserted with the + side facing up. Replace the battery.

I’ve put in the blood sample, but the meter doesn’t work.

Check whether the confirmation window on the strip is full. If it isn’t, an “Er4” message will appear. Insert a fresh strip and redo the test to get an accurate result.

The test result comes out too high or too low.

Please check whether the code number on the strip bottle is the same as the number on the screen. Use the meter at a room temperature of 10 – 40°C (50 -104°F) after 30 minutes. If the strip is out of the bottle for a long time, it might affect the test result. Make sure that the bottle cap is closed tightly. If you still get incorrect test results even after following all the instructions, please consult a healthcare professional.

What does it mean if the “Lo” icon appears on the screen?

It means that your blood glucose level is lower than 1.11 mmol/L, and you have extreme hypoglycemia. If you get repeated “Lo” results, consult a healthcare professional.

What does it mean if the “Hi” icon appears on the screen?

It means that your blood glucose level is higher than 33.3 mmol/L and you have extreme hyperglycemia. If you get repeated “Hi” results, consult a healthcare professional.

How long is the battery life?

It can last for 1,000 tests.

What does it mean when my meter displays a battery symbol?

The batteries are running low. You have enough power left for about 50 tests, but you should replace the batteries as soon as possible.

What is the required blood volume sample for CareSens N?

The minimum required volume is 0.5㎕.

What is the testing time for CareSens N?

5 seconds.

What is the operation range?

1.11 – 33.3 mmol/L

What is the feasible % range of hematocrit?

20 – 60%

What is the temperature range for testing?

10 – 40°C (50 -104°F)

What is the humidity range for testing?

10 – 90%

What does it mean when an “Er1” message appears?

You have inserted a strip that has been used already. Insert a fresh strip.

What does it mean when an “Er2” message appears?

You applied the blood sample to the strip before the symbol for inserting blood appeared. Repeat the test with a new strip.

What does it mean when an “Er3” message appears?

The temperature of the system is not within the recommended range.
Take the system someplace where the temperature is within operating range, 10 – 40°C (50 – 104°F), and repeat the test after 30 minutes.

What does it mean when an “Er4” message appears?

The blood sample did not fill the confirmation window of the test strip, during measurement, because of abnormally high viscosity or insufficient volume. Repeat the test with a new test strip and adequate blood sample.

HemoCue

How often should I clean the control cuvette?

B-Hemoglobin; Donor Hb Checker:
Clean the control cuvette when the value deviates from the assigned value (± limits).

Cleaning the control cuvette:
1. Dampen a fresh cotton swab with alcohol or isopropanol (without additives).
2. Clean the control cuvette filter gently but thoroughly.
3. Wipe it dry with a fresh, dry cotton swab.
4. Visually check that the control cuvette filter is clean. If not, repeat the procedure.

How often should I clean the cuvette holder?

The cuvette holder should be cleaned after being used, on the days of testing, with alcohol or a mild soap solution after being completely removed from the analyzer. The cuvette holder can also be autoclaved. The holder must be completely dry before being reinserted in the analyzer.

How often should I clean the cover glasses of the optronic unit?

Cleaning frequency may depend on the amount of samples being analyzed and/or local regulations regarding maintenance. Clean the cover glasses of the optronic unit with the HemoCue Cleaner.

Warning! Do not open the optronic assembly!

The HemoCue Cleaner should not be used for B-Hemoglobin Photometers produced earlier than July 1992. Read the relevant Operating Manual to make sure that the cleaner may be used. For alternative cleaning of B-Hemoglobin instruments produced earlier than July 1992, please contact your local HemoCue distributor.

Follow the directions in the HemoCue Cleaner instructions for use:

1. Turn the instrument off and remove the cuvette holder as described in the operating manual
2. Remove the cleaner from the package and insert into the instrument
3. Move the cleaner over the entire optronic unit
4. Inspect the cleaner. If it is dirty, repeat the procedure with a new cleaner
5. Wait 15 minutes before replacing the cuvette holder
6. Check the system as required

 

Note! Dispose of the cleaner as potentially infectious waste. Do not reuse the cleaner.

How should I store my HemoCue Hemoglobin microcuvettes?

B-Hemoglobin:
Store the B-Hemoglobin microcuvettes dry at room temperature15 – 30°C,
(59 – 86°F). The microcuvettes are stable in an unopened container for two years from manufacturing date.

 

Once the container is opened, the microcuvettes are stable for three months.
Remove only the microcuvette required for the immediate testing.

 

The reagents within the B-Hemoglobin microcuvettes are moisture sensitive.
Replace cap immediately after the B- Hemoglobin microcuvettes are removed from the container.

 

Hb 201:
Store the Hb 201 microcuvettes dry at room temperature 15 – 30°C, (59 – 86°F).
The microcuvettes are stable in an unopened container for two years from manufacturing date.

 

Once the container is opened, the microcuvettes are stable for three months.
Remove only the microcuvette required for the immediate testing.
The reagents within the Hemoglobin microcuvettes are moisture sensitive.

 

Replace cap immediately after the HemoCue Hemoglobin microcuvettes are removed from the container.

 

Individually packaged microcuvettes are stable for one year from the date of manufacturing.

 

Donor Hb Checker:
Store the Donor Hb Checker microcuvettes dry at room temperature 15 – 30°C, (59 – 86°F). The microcuvettes are stable in an unopened container for one year from manufacturing date.

 

Once the container is opened, the microcuvettes are stable for three months. Remove only the microcuvette required for the immediate testing.

 

Hb 301:
The microcuvettes are to be stored at 10 – 40°C (50 – 104°F). Once the seal of the vial is broken, the microcuvettes are stable for 3 months.

 

An unopened vial of microcuvettes can be stored for a shorter period of time (6 weeks) between -18 – 50°C (0.4 – 122°F). Use the microcuvettes prior to the expiration date that is printed on the package.

 

Keep the vial properly closed. All unused microcuvettes should remain in the original package.

I lost the control cuvette! What do I do?

The control cuvette is specific to an instrument, if it is lost, contact your local

 

HemoCue distributor for replacement.

The control cuvette gives erroneous results. What do I do?

B-Hemoglobin; Donor Hb Checker
The control cuvette is an optical interference filter, which is used to verify that the calibration is stable and does not change from day to day. When you check the received value, it should not exceed the established range on the control cuvette card.

 

Hemoglobin: ±3 g/L, 0.2 mmol/L

Make sure that the instrument and the control cuvette are clean.

For further information read the Troubleshooting Guide in the relevant Operating Manual.

The control cuvette is cracked or damaged! What do I do?

The control cuvette is specific to an instrument, if it is cracked or damaged, contact your local HemoCue distributor for replacement.

The liquid control solution values are too high or too low! What do I do?

A control of the total system i.e. photometer and microcuvette can be obtained by using liquid controls with a given hemoglobin value. The liquid controls should have a viscosity equal to that of normal blood. It is important that the liquid control is stored, mixed and handled according to manufacturer instructions. Note: Many liquid controls that are not assayed for the HemoCue Hemoglobin systems contain additives that cause turbidity (cloudiness). Since the HemoCue photometers compensate for turbidity it can give lower hemoglobin values.

 

Check the expiration date and storage of the liquid control and microcuvettes.
They might be too old, damaged or improperly stored.

 

For further information, please check the Troubleshooting Guide in the relevant Operating Manual.

What can I do if the analyzer gives an error code?

The analyzer shows “ERROR” or “E” and a digit code.

May be an occasional fault.

Turn off the analyzer and switch it on again after 30 seconds. Take a new cuvette and repeat the measurement.

If the problem continues, see specific Error code in the Troubleshooting Guide in the relevant Operating Manual.

What is good quality control?

Quality control testing, preferably performed regularly, verifies the function of the system and guarantees reliable patient results. The frequency of quality control testing will depend on factors such as patient sample frequency and/or local regulations.

 

Control cuvette
The function of the HemoCue photometer can be checked on the days of testing by measuring the enclosed control cuvette (NOTE: The control cuvette is required for the Donor Hb Checker and B-Hemoglobin photometers). The control cuvette, which is an optical interference filter, is used to verify that the calibration is stable i.e. not changing from day to day.

 

The measured value should not deviate from the assigned value (±limits) on the control cuvette card.
The control cuvette is specific for each photometer i.e. the serial number on the control cuvette corresponds to the serial number of the photometer.

 

Liquid control solutions
It is good laboratory practice to check the function of the HemoCue system daily before use. A control of the total system i.e. both photometer and microcuvette, can be performed with liquid control solutions.

 

The HemoCue systems are developed to give correct results on fresh whole blood.

 

Commercially available quality control solutions, however, might differ significantly from fresh whole blood. They vary in composition, are stabilized, and contain preservatives or other additives that might cause erroneous readings. It is therefore recommended to use quality control solutions with assayed values specific for the HemoCue system. For suitable control solutions, see Quality Controls.

 

Control solution results should fall within assigned ranges.
If results are out of range, local guidelines for failed quality control testing should be followed prior to any patient testing.

 

External quality control (Proficiency testing)
External quality control testing can be local, national or international. Specimens with unknown values are sent out to participants for analysis.

 

Personnel who routinely test patient samples are to test the external control solution in the same way as they test the real patient samples. The results are then usually reported as acceptable or unacceptable in terms of difference from the mean between results reported by participants and reference laboratories.

 

Contact national authorities for suitable proficiency testing programs.

What level of control solution shall I use?

It is practical and relevant to use a control at a level in the same range as your most common patient result.

Please follow your local quality control regulations.

Why do the capillary Hemoglobin double samples differ more than venous double samples?

Blood obtained by skin puncture may contain a concentration of red blood cells or be diluted with interstitial and intracellular fluid. A good capillary sampling technique is therefore essential for good results.

 

Make sure that the patient’s hand is warm and relaxed and that the blood flow is spontaneous. If a second sample is to be taken from the same finger stick this should be done immediately after the first sample has been taken.

 

For further information, read the relevant Operating Manual.

Why is there sometimes a difference between HemoCue Hemoglobin results compared with laboratory results?

A number of factors may influence the outcome of a comparison between two hemoglobin methods:

 

Calibration differences.
Variations in routines for calibration or differences in calibration material may cause differences between methods. The HemoCue Hemoglobin systems are delivered calibrated against the international reference method for determination of hemoglobin, the ICSH method.

 

Sample material
Venous and capillary blood are not quite the same even if the latter is freely flowing. The Hb concentration of peripheral (capillary) blood is greater than in venous blood. The discrepancies between peripheral and venous samples are more marked if the ear-lobe rather than the finger is chosen as the site for puncture.

 

Time of sampling
The hemoglobin concentration shows a declining trend through the daytime and the lowest values during the night. This should be taken into consideration when results are compared.

 

Body position
After transition from an upright position to a recumbent position a decrease in hemoglobin takes place. When comparing laboratory results, sampling is recommended to be performed under identical conditions.