Objective: To characterize the performance of glucose meter test strips using simulated dynamic temperature and humidity disaster conditions.
Methods: Glucose oxidase- and glucose dehydrogenase-based test strips were dynamically stressed for up to 680 hours using an environmental chamber to simulate conditions during Hurricane Katrina. Paired measurements vs control were obtained using 3 aqueous reagent levels for GMS1 and 2 for GMS2.
Results: Stress affected the performance of GMS1 at level 1 (P <. 01); and GMS2 at both levels (P <. 001), lowering GMS1 results but elevating GMS2 results. Glucose median-paired differences were elevated at both levels on GMS2 after 72 hours. Median-paired differences (stress minus control) were as much as −10 mg/dL (range, −65 to 33) at level 3 with GMS1, with errors as large as 21.9%. Glucose median-paired differences were as high as 5 mg/dL (range, −1 to 10) for level 1 on GMS2, with absolute errors up to 24.4%.
Conclusions: The duration of dynamic stress affected the performance of both GMS1 and GMS2 glucose test strips. Therefore, proper monitoring, handling, and storage of point-of-care (POC) reagents are needed to ensure their integrity and quality of actionable results, thereby minimizing treatment errors in emergency and disaster settings.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2012;6:232–240)