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[IP] Early lab tests for urine and blood sugars

Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 14:31:33 -0500
From: "jhughey" <email @ redacted>

>>> I spent two weeks at the hospital learning how to give
a shot to an orange and how to boil my urine sample. >>>

> hmmmm - I never had the boil kind of test - used Clinitest right off the
> in '50. I can't believe they (Bayer) still makes than thangs - gave me one
> for my 50th DM anniversary BASH - with unexpired tablets!


Are you saying that Ames Division of Miles Labs/Bayer is still manufacturing
and selling Clinitest?  WOW, I'm totally surprised!  They must be if you
received "unexpired tablets" as a gift on your 50th anniversary of diabetes.

I used Clinitest's tablets, starting in 1956,  for determining the quantity of
sugar in a urine sample (the scale was: negative, 1+, 2+, 3+ and 4+ sugar).
The tablets did cause a few drops of urine, diluted with water, in the bottom
of a test tube, to boil.  This brought about the chemical reaction and the
resultant visual color change which was compared to a small color chart..

At that time, medical laboratories had to go through a rather complex and
lengthy procedure to determine the quantity of sugar in a patients blood.  The
procedure was called a "Folin-Wu" test.  It required a special type of test
tube (with a bulb on the bottom). About 5 c.c. of blood was typically drawn
from the person's arm for one test. (And we think a large drop is too much

The specimen and reagents in the Folin-Wu tube were placed in a boiling water
bath for several minutes as part of the procedure. It also required that the
laboratory have at least a color comparator, or one of the early
spectrophotomers that were beginning to be used in medical labs at that time,
to make a quantitative measurement in mg %.

Back then we didn't think we would ever see home blood sugar testing and
insulin pumps were sci-fi.


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