Control solutions are a way to test your meter so you know that it is giving you accurate results. Although we provide control solutions in your meter kit, we find that our meters seldom fall out of calibration and contrary to what the manual says, you don’t need to test every week.
The control solution test should be performed if:
- Your meter has been dropped or damaged.
- Your strips have been exposed to extreme temperature or humidity.
You suspect your meter or strips are not giving you accurate readings.
- If your meter is testing within range, and you still think your meter is giving inaccurate results, view our article "How do I know if my Virta Glucose and Ketone meter is accurate?".
About the control solution
- Do not use a control solution that is past the expiration date or discard date (the control solution will expire 6 months after the bottle is opened for the first time).
- Shake the bottle well before use and close the bottle tightly after use.
- The control solution range is listed on a sticker on the outside of your strip container. You will always reference the "CTRL 2" range values.
Before using the control solution to test your meters accuracy, ensure that you:
- Double-check the expiration date. Our control solutions have a shelf life of 12-18 months unopened, and must be used within 6 months after opening.
- Only use test strips that have been properly stored and are not expired, and
- Never use other brands of control solutions with Virta Glucose and Ketone meters.
Performing a Basic Control Solution Test
- Remove a test strip from its container. Note: Check the expiration date of the test strips, found on the label on the container. Do not use the expired test strip.
- Insert a test strip into the meter.
- The meter turns on after a beep. An image of a test strip with a flashing blood droplet will appear letting you know the meter is ready to test.
- Shake the control solution bottle gently. Squeeze the control solution bottle gently and discard the first droplet.
With light pressure on the control solution bottle, touch the tip of the test strip to the droplet of control solution. The control solution is drawn into the test strip.
Note: If the control solution sample does not fill the window, do not add a second droplet. Discard the test strip and start over with a new test strip.
- You will see the meter begin to count down on the screen, after which your control test results will display. Note: The meter will automatically recognize and mark the control result for you. Control results are not included in the 7, 14 and 30 day average calculation.
Video linked here
Understanding your control test Result
- Compare your control test result with the ranges printed on the label on the outside of your strip container. Reference "CTRL 2" range for the Level 2 control solution provided with your meter.
If your control test result is out of range:
- Check the expiration dates and discard dates of the test strip and control solution. Make sure that the control solution bottle has not been opened for more than 6 months. Discard any expired test strips or control solution.
- Confirm the temperature in which you are testing glucose control is between 10 and 40°C, and testing Ketone control is between 15 and 40°C.
- Make sure that the control solution bottle has been tightly capped.
- Make sure the test strip was used immediately after removing from the strip container and wasn't exposed to contaminants.
- Make sure the control solution is mixed well.
- Confirm that you are using Virta-branded control solution.
- Make sure that you followed the testing procedure correctly.
- After checking all of the conditions listed above, repeat the control solution test with a new test strip. If your results still fall out of the range indicated on the test strip box or label, your meter or test strips may not be working properly. DO NOT use the system to test blood. Please contact support for further assistance. You may be eligible for a replacement.
- To turn your meter off, just remove the test strip. Dispose of the used test strips as medical waste. The result will be automatically marked and stored in the meter memory. Control results will not be included in your test averages.
If you’re still concerned, you can perform a 5-strip test.
- Prepare 5 glucose strips or 5 ketone strips (depending on which test you’re performing), or both.
- Shake the control solution before use, but very gently to avoid creating lots of air bubbles.
- Perform back-to-back tests with all 5 glucose or ketone strips using the single droplet, noting each reading. (It’s normal and expected to notice a variation in readings.)
- Calculate the average of the 5 tests by adding up all of the readings, then divide the total by 5.
- Compare the average reading to the ranges printed on your test strip container.
An ideal or “perfect” test result is when the reading average is in the middle of the control range, but as long as the reading average falls anywhere within the control range, your meter is accurate and is not defective.