This study investigated the effects of hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBOT) on the accuracy and reliability of point-of-care fingertip capillary blood glucose values in euglycaemic non-diabetic participants compared against venous serum blood glucose samples processed in an accredited pathology laboratory.
Ten non-diabetic hyperbaric staff members (age 35-55 years) underwent a standard 243 kPa HBOT exposure for 95 minutes. Blood glucose levels were measured via (i) finger-prick capillary test using the FreeStyle Optium™ Neo H glucometer and (ii) venous serum test using the Cobas 6000 laboratory analyser. Samples were taken at (T1) 0 minutes (pre-HBOT), (T2) 25 minutes, and (T3) 55 minutes into HBOT.
All participants were euglycaemic at T1 (BGL 3.8-5.4 mmol·L⁻¹). The highest venous serum value was 5.90 mmol·L⁻¹ at T3 and the highest capillary value was 6.30 mmol·L⁻¹ at T1. Post hoc tests showed a statistically significant difference between the mean capillary result pre-dive (T1) and readings at T2 (P = 0.001) and T3 (P < 0.001) while differences between T2 and T3 capillary results were not statistically significant, illustrating the effect of HBOT on capillary beds. Differences in venous values across the time points were not significant.
Venous serum glucose samples processed in an accredited laboratory may be more consistently accurate, but capillary point-of-care testing avoids delays in sample processing and provides glucose data that are of clinical relevance. The FreeStyle Optium™ Neo H glucometer is safe to use and provides a reliable measurement of blood glucose in the HBOT environment.