[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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