Portable lactate analysers have evolved in such a way that the volume of sample needed to perform the measurements has decreased considerably. This decrease in the amount of blood needed means that any contamination of the sample can present significantly altered values.
Sweat, for example, has a much higher lactate concentration than blood and can significantly alter the result of the measurement. Blood samples can also be contaminated by elements such as water, serum, alcohol, creams, fragrances etc.
It is essential to make sure that the area where we are going to take the blood sample from (the fingertip, the earlobe) has been cleaned properly. After making a puncture with a lancet, it is advisable to discard the first two drops of blood to ensure that there is no contamination in the sample.
A large percentage of mistaken results when performing a lactate analysis are due to errors when taking the blood sample. Therefore, it is very important to take the blood sample correctly in order to ensure that accurate results are obtained.
The Lactate Plus and Lactate Scout, both have control solutions that are used to rule out possible failures in the analysers. In cases in which the results obtained may seem atypical, we would use the control solution instead of blood to perform a measurement with the portable lactate analyser. If the values shown by the analyser are between the values indicated in the control solution, it means that the analyser is functioning properly. In these cases, we should check that the test strips are not expired, that they have been stored under optimal conditions and that the sampling procedure has been followed correctly.
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