Tips on How to Get a Good Fingerstick

It is important to get a good fingerstick when using your INR meter. Most manufacturers of home INR devices recommend that you obtain a hanging drop of blood,approximately the size of a ladybug or green pea. There are several things you can do to assure you get a good drop.

If it is chilly outside, make sure you warm up your hands before the test. Always wash them in warm, soapy water for 3-4 minutes and then rub them together after they are dry. You can massage the palm of your hand and even the base of the fingers to increase blood flow. Do NOT massage your fingertips as this may affect your INR result.1

After you have inserted the strip into the meter, dangle your hand at your side as you are waiting for the meter to prompt you to lance your finger. Gravity will cause the blood to flow down to your fingertips so that you get a good sample.

Once it is time for you to apply blood to the test strip, choose your middle or ring finger for the test. If you are visualizing your fingertip as a clock, lance your fingertip at 10 o‘clock or 2 o’clock. Sometimes it is helpful to rest your hand, palm up on a flat surface before you lance your finger in order to remain steady. Once you have lanced your finger it is all right to dangle your hand again by your side to get a larger drop if necessary. When the drop is large enough, go ahead and apply the blood to the strip and run your test!

  1. CoaguChek® XS System User Manual. Tips for a Good Fingerstick. P 15. Roche Diagnostics. 2009.