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Update to Glucose Critical Value
In consultation with the Department of Internal Medicine, the Division of Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine, and UCI Nursing Services, the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine will update glucose critical values. This change will affect both central lab glucose critical alert calls, as well as critical flagging on point of care meters. Point of care glucose results will appear with a red screen on Nova glucometers when values are in the critical ranges.
Age Range Previous critical values Updated critical values
< 12 months old < 40 mg/dL
> 200 mg/dL
< 45 mg/dL
> 250 mg/dL
>=1 year old < 51 mg/dL
> 399 mg/dL
< 55 mg/dL
> 399 mg/dL

Effective date: July 23, 2020

Specimen requirement and testing information (dependent on location):

Specimen: For central lab testing: Collect 4.0 mL whole blood in a light green (lithium heparin) or grey (potassium oxalate/sodium fluoride) tube. Red or gold top serum tubes also accepted. Invert tube 8-10 times to properly mix. Do not shake. Spin down and separate plasma from cells as soon as possible.

Test methodology: Hexokinase

Test code: GLUC

Ambient: 2 hours
Refrigerated: 2 hours
Frozen: Unacceptable

After separation from cells:
Ambient: 8 hours
Refrigerated: 2 days
Frozen: 1 month

Turnaround time (TAT):
STAT: 60 minutes
Routine: 2-4 hours
Set Up Days: Daily

Specimen required: 1.0 mL plasma
Minimum volume: 0.6 mL plasm

Rejection criteria:
Specimens that exceed stated stability, unlabeled/mislabeled/mismatched specimens, specimens submitted in leaking containers, specimens collected in Sodium Citrate or EDTA anticoagulant.

References: Diabetes Care 2019; 42(Suppl.1): S61–70

A summary of all tests offered by our laboratory services can be found here:


Bridgit O. Crews, PhD, DABCC
Clinical Chemistry & Toxicology

Edwin S. Monuki, MD, PhD
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
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