Early this week LifeScan announced that they were voluntarily recalling about 2 million of their brand new (and quite sexy) OneTouch Verio blood glucose meters because they were malfunctioning at very high blood glucose levels. Details about the recall can be found on the Johnson & Johnson website (that parent company of LifeScan).
The abbreviated reason OneTouch is replacing these meters (about 90,000 of which are in the United States) is that at 1024 mg/dl and higher the meters shut off. If you have a Verio IQ or you think you might be affected by this recall, go to the website mentioned above to read the details…don’t listen to me.
In most “regular” situations, this bug in the meter is not going to really affect anyone. If someone’s glucose is rising, it’s likely that they’ll test in the 500s, the 600s, the 700s, or the 800s, etc. The likeliehood of someone experiencing a BGL of 1024 mg/dl and not already seeking medical help is slim. But possible.
In the past five years, I can count on my blood-speckled finger-tips the number of times that my glucose level has hit over a 400. So I’m at little to no risk of my Verio IQ meter turning off when I test. I would be significantly more concerned if this meter malfunctioned in my low glucose range.
And I’m at even less of a risk because, while I do own a Verio, I rarely use it anymore because my insurance company does not yet cover the cost of the strips. But even though this recall does not directly affect me, it is a reminder of something very real. As a person with diabetes, my life depends on products that can fail. My insulin, my strips, my meter, my glucagon, my glucose tabs, my ketone strips. All of these things have the potential to not work the way that they are supposed to.
The advancement of diabetes technology in the short time since my diagnosis has been incredible. Every time I hear about the closed-loop system or the artificial pancreas, I get excited. But moments like this one are a harsh slap back to reality. They remind me that I don’t want to put all of my pancreatic beta cells in one basket.
- Johnson & Johnson recalls OneTouch VerioIQ blood glucose meters due to malfunction (cbsnews.com)
- LifeScan recalls OneTouch VerioIQ blood glucose meters (news.consumerreports.org)
- Recall: 90,000 Blood Glucose Meters (detroit.cbslocal.com)
- J&J Recalling All OneTouch Verio IQ Blood Glucose Meters (medicalnewstoday.com)