Effects of humidity on foil and vial packaging to preserve glucose and lactate test strips for disaster readiness

Anh Thu Truong, Richard F. Louie, John H. Vy, Corbin M. Curtis, William J. Ferguson, Mandy Lam, Stephanie Sumner, Gerald J Kost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective Efficient emergency and disaster response is challenged by environmental conditions exceeding test reagent storage and operating specifications. We assessed the effectiveness of vial and foil packaging in preserving point-of-care (POC) glucose and lactate test strip performance in humid conditions. Methods Glucose and lactate test strips in both packaging were exposed to mean relative humidity of 97.0 ± 1.1% in an environmental chamber for up to 168 hours. At defined time points, stressed strips were removed and tested in pairs with unstressed strips using whole blood samples spiked to glucose concentrations of 60, 100, and 250 mg/dL (n = 20 paired measurements per level). A Wilcoxon signed rank test was used to compare stressed and unstressed test strip measurements. Results Stressed glucose and lactate test strip measurements differed significantly from unstressed strips, and were inconsistent between experimental trials. Median glucose paired difference was as high as 12.5 mg/dL at the high glucose test concentration. Median lactate bias was-0.2 mmol/L. Stressed strips from vial (3) and foil (7) packaging failed to produce results. Conclusions Both packaging designs appeared to protect glucose and lactate test strips for at least 1 week of high humidity stress. Documented strip failures revealed the need for improved manufacturing process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-57
Number of pages7
JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Medicine(all)


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