Coaguchek Vantus not reading some strips

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trav

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I have noticed recently that sometimes my Coaguchek Vantus will not read test strips with the expiration year of 2021 or better. I do not receive any errors when this happens. When I go to test it just keeps saying insert test strip (when the test strip is already inserted). One vial of 6 strips had 2 of them that couldn't be read and I had another vial that had 1 strip bad. Other strips work fine. I called the Roche Technical Service number on the back of the meter and they thought it was strips going bad. They offered to replace the meter if I wanted to if this keeps happening. They already sent me a new vial of 6 strips. Just curious if anyone else has noticed this or am I just unlucky :(

Edit: Mods please move this to Home Anticoagulation Monitoring as I posted it in the wrong forum, thanks!
 

MdaPA

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Did you try cleaning/disinfecting the machine?

Also, try some fresh batteries (even though it appears you are not getting a low battery error) as this sometimes resolves issues.
 

pellicle

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Yep date and time are correct.
sorry, but just thought I'd ask

Can you be a little more detailed on the dates and differences? I'm not certain on what this means " not read test strips with the expiration year of 2021 or better. "

I assume better means "greater than" or "later than"

I'm suspicious that this is a firmware issue.
 

RAS

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I do not receive any errors when this happens. When I go to test it just keeps saying insert test strip
Most likely the meter needs cleaning.

I had the same thing on my Vantas once. I removed the blue cover, cleaned the white area with a drop of isopropyl alcohol, wiped it dry with a microfiber cloth and gave it a few minutes to fully air dry. Also cleaned the blue cover, then put it back on, turned on the device, inserted the strip and it worked fine.
Disclaimer: Roche recommends using something called a Super Sani-Cloth Germicidal Disposable Wipe. I guess that is a product in common use in healthcare, but the main ingredient is isopropyl alcohol, so I saw no reason to buy it, especially since this was (so far) a one time event for me.

Other possibilities...

I suppose a bad batch of strips is a possibility, but I would expect error codes in that situation. Your description indicates the meter does not even detect the strip. Also unlikely to be expired strips because those will produce an error code as well.

Low battery: Not sure how it would behave. The first and so far only time I had a low battery warning (after about 8 months), I replaced the batteries before putting a strip in. I've had the Vantas for about a year and half. Machines I had in the past would not even turn on when the battery got too low.

Another possibility is incorrect chip for the batch of strips or not fully seated chip. I don't how it would behave in that situation either.
 

RAS

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Chip not fully seated?
Sorry, "seated" is a term used frequently when referring to install of computer components. May not be familiar term to everyone here. Anyway, assuming this was a new lot never used on that meter before, the corresponding Code Chip needs to be installed and read into the meter. So if the chip was not pushed in all the way it may not be read by the device. It's an unlikely situation though.
 

trav

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sorry, but just thought I'd ask

Can you be a little more detailed on the dates and differences? I'm not certain on what this means " not read test strips with the expiration year of 2021 or better. "

I assume better means "greater than" or "later than"

I'm suspicious that this is a firmware issue.
Simply meant that all my strips had an expiration year of 2021 or 2022 (so you assumed correct!) if anyone else was to have a similar problem. As far as the meter not reading them, I stick in the strip which has an insert strip message and picture on the meter screen, and it does not start the countdown, just stays on that insert strip screen.

Most likely the meter needs cleaning.

I had the same thing on my Vantas once. I removed the blue cover, cleaned the white area with a drop of isopropyl alcohol, wiped it dry with a microfiber cloth and gave it a few minutes to fully air dry. Also cleaned the blue cover, then put it back on, turned on the device, inserted the strip and it worked fine.
Disclaimer: Roche recommends using something called a Super Sani-Cloth Germicidal Disposable Wipe. I guess that is a product in common use in healthcare, but the main ingredient is isopropyl alcohol, so I saw no reason to buy it, especially since this was (so far) a one time event for me.

Other possibilities...

I suppose a bad batch of strips is a possibility, but I would expect error codes in that situation. Your description indicates the meter does not even detect the strip. Also unlikely to be expired strips because those will produce an error code as well.

Low battery: Not sure how it would behave. The first and so far only time I had a low battery warning (after about 8 months), I replaced the batteries before putting a strip in. I've had the Vantas for about a year and half. Machines I had in the past would not even turn on when the battery got too low.

Another possibility is incorrect chip for the batch of strips or not fully seated chip. I don't how it would behave in that situation either.
I tried cleaning blue cover/white area and replacing batteries and meter would still not recognize the strip. The chip worked for the other 5 strips in the lot and was fully inserted.
 

pellicle

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I tried cleaning blue cover/white area and replacing batteries and meter would still not recognize the strip.
Interesting
Could you post a picture of the strip itself? I'm curious if there is damage to the code side

Eg
IMG20210715071052.jpg


also the back side of this end too please.

Its just a hunch, and could be wrong
 

RAS

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I tried cleaning blue cover/white area and replacing batteries and meter would still not recognize the strip
I can't think of any other troubleshooting steps that might be useful. I guess you pretty much narrowed it down to being bad strips. Well at least they sent you another vial. Hope they don't charge you for those!
 

pellicle

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wow ... those strips are different on the bottom.
I was thinking that maybe somehow the code was obscured, which is apparently a 5x5 matrix (there are a few of those) and my be proprietary.

However where I'm not interested in is the back. That whole section at the top (above the line the red arrow points to) is a single conductor.
IMG20210715101753.jpg


but you can see that some of the swipes stay up further (where they are all thus held to the same (probably) ground, while the others go down a bit more to the bigger bars. Yours however is different, appearing to swipe also the squares (see red arrows)

1626308730400.png


an unused strip does not have these marks (which are caused by the swipes dragging down on insertion).
I think I see some lines along the edges of the left two larger stips (after the threshold) where a swipe shorted along the second large strip ...

So numbering the swipes down from left to right my #2 stops short and does not drag down past the edge of the second large contact.

Also I don't see a strong mark swiping down on line #8 but do see one on the contact tab square it rests on (right hand red arrow)
I'd be interested if there is anything like this on your used strips which did work (assuming this was one that didn't)

might be an issue with the design trying to cram too much into a small space
 

trav

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The one on the left is the one that doesn’t work. The one on the right is an unused one from the same lot (I have 2 vials of 6 from that lot). I will take a picture of a used one after I test this Monday too.
 

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pellicle

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Hi
The one on the left is the one that doesn’t work. The one on the right is an unused one from the same lot (I have 2 vials of 6 from that lot). I will take a picture of a used one after I test this Monday too.
well that's interesting. I don't know if its just the angle of the light (your lighting doesn't make the strips look as golden as mine) but heres a few observations

The one on the left looks to have had the gold scraped off:

1626326513518.png


one would need careful examination to be sure, but it looks like there may be a fault with the swipe connection being perhaps harmed. These should more or less look like this:
1626326734941.png

although that's a double sided arrangement and this will be single sided. You can see that they are rolled to be blunt and not scratch.

That scratch extends down to the second half. I'm assming operation is something like this: In a two stage process as you insert all pins will be common earthed, then they'll go over an insulation area, then swipe onto their final resting points and that will signal "pre test" to the machine.

IF one of them failed to ground on the way down (the one I've outlined) then that could interfere. Further if the one I've redded is not making contact on the second stage (which it looks like it might not be) then that could be the issue.

If you check my picture of a "virgin" strip there are no swipe lines on it:

IMG20210715153127.jpg


btw, to be pedantic these are called "wipe connectors" but I'm just being loose with my terms.
 

trav

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Now that I think about it, I think the one on the right I might have inserted into the meter to see if it would read it after the bad strip. All the other strips in the the vial are like your "virgin strip".
 
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