Friday, 26 June 2009

accu-chek avia nano

More shiny new kit, this time a blood glucose monitoring machine, bought to replace the Acc-chek Active meter that I’ve had for about eight years that now seems to be nearing the end of it’s days. Unfortunately they have discontinued this model which is a shame as it was the only device that if the reader failed then you had the fall back of still being able to do a visual reading.

The Avia Nano has a number improvements over the Active, for one it has a backlit LED display. I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve struggled with head torch and meter trying to get a reading in a dark tent. In cold weather squeezing enough blood out of a finger is always a problem; not enough and the monitor wouldn’t work or gave a false reading. The Nano only requires a tiny amount of blood to do the test – a miniscule 0.6µl, a fraction of what I’d need for the old machine. And you can add more blood within five seconds if necessary. The meter comes with a lancing device that holds a barrel of six lancets so no need to be fumbling with individual ones and the subsequent disposal of a sharp. There’s an adapter supplied that allows you to take blood samples from other areas of your hand if required. This is new to me and I’ll have to wait until the colder months to see whether the heel of my hand would give out blood more readily than chilly fingers. However given the size of the droplet of blood required using a different area of my hand might not be necessary.

As the Nano is smaller the overall weight of the components is 30g less than the Accu-chek Active. Apart it’s lack of ability to do a visual check this monitor has a number of gains over my old system, let’s hope that I don’t drop it down a mountain or dunk it in the sea.*

* Having put one in the Bay of Biscay once before I now keep all the bits and pieces in an Ortleib A6 document wallet, along with a silica gel sachet. I’ll grumble about having to carry extras ‘just in case’ but it’s wise to keep some of the test strips from the old machine in the wallet too.

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