Wipe before testing: I was under the... - Hughes Syndrome -...

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Wipe before testing


I was under the impression that it is essential to wipe the finger with an alcohol sterile swab prior to testing as residues of soaps and creams on the finger can affect the result as the blood lies on the finger before being put onto the reading strip.

As u know I've been really ill with head and body and mood over the weekend. I didn't even recognise my own son who has only popped out for half an hour. Going by past experiences I was sure my blood was low.

I went to have it tested today. A different man. He was about to do the prick but had not wiped the area. I told him it maybe best to as I'd used creams and soap. He said it didn't matter and went ahead.

The result was 4. Spot on my target. I was very very surprised I thought it was very low. I felt like it was.

So my question is: would the fact that creams etc weren't removed first affect it or am I clutching at straws? 💋

8 Replies


I never wash my hands or do anything before I test in the finger at home. At the hospital they only do bloodtests in the vein and then they swab my arm first thing.

The INR of 4.0 was that in the vein or in the finger? I have a lower number in the vein. How about you?


WendyWoo50 in reply to Lure2

It was finger. My vein is .8 higher usually


Sorry you feel awful, you are maybe flaring? I am sure the finger prick was ok, but if not happy you can ask for this next time. I hope you feel better soon. MaryF

I don't use wipes although I do usually wash my hands before testing and my readings are pretty consistent. The clinic has never cleaned my finger before testing either.

Sterile wipe before a needle into the vein, for infection-risk reasons. For finger-prick, there doesn't seem to be any consistency. I was told to wash the finger before testing at home, but they never do that when testing in the clinic with the same type of machine (different lancets though?). Usually I wash finger, sometimes I forget, not noticed it making any difference to the reading. Of course one of the advantages with self-testing is that if something feels "wrong" with a test for any reason you can always do it again (and I have on occasions) - plenty of fingers (and thumbs) to go at...


For my testing, they have always drew blood from my veins. However they do swab the area with an alcohol swab.

I had it tested today. He did swab. It was exactly the same 4.0. Still feel awful but obviously not aps !!!

Headache still terrible maybe a tiny bit better

Thanks everyone for ur answers 💋

My understanding is the alcohol swab for a veinous stick is the control for infection. Because sick people go to hospitals, hospitals generally have a lot of bed bugs floating about. They use a lot of alcohol wipes to try to prevent some of those buggers from finding a home in another patient.

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