Changing Lancets for Blood Tests


#21

Sherry Ann, I too have had this horrible disease for a long time, 51 years this year. So, like me you went through 20+ years of peeing onto strips of paper to get a useless result that told you that you had been high in the time since you last tested. So along came glucometers and all of a sudden we were getting accurate information.You could do a blood test in less time than it took the Tes-tape to turn green. The price of course was that nasty little sting when you used the lancet to draw blood. So nasty that BB King was doing commercials for some new slim lancet that didn’t hurt so much (cry me a river, eh?) I probably started off changing the lancet frequently, even once per test. That soon went by the wayside and as I had to carry the meter with me and wanted as little fuss as possible, I reduced the changing of the lancet to daily, to when I thought about it, to thinking about it very rarely, My last lancet, which I just changed may have been in the lance for as long as two years. I test about six times a day, actually.

I changed because I wanted to examine that lancet, which I did by taking a picture on the “macro’” setting and zooming it. I found the tip shows no sign of deformity, and there is a stain far down the shaft, though I can’t say whether the tip is dulled from use. Perhaps you are using one of those ultra-slim lancets, which may not hold up as well.

Oh, I have been finger printed since starting using a lancet (I worked for the government with other people’s personal info, and also for charitable work with children) and was never questioned about the pointillist tattoos on my fingertips. Even they fade after a while.

Anyway, I thank you for this thoughtful and well written article. I am sure it made a lot of people look at their lancing practices, as it did me. I’m going to make a note to change lancets at the equinoctes (Spring and fall, eh?) I hope you go on to perform many, many blood tests!


#22

If you want to see some small object such as a turntable stylus, take a wide angle lens, hold it so that the end that goes into the camera body is pointed towards the object (ie, reversed from normal usage of any lens), open up the diaphragm if necessary and observe the extreme magnification you can get! I recently looked at the stylus of my turntable, and could see the diamond tip’s exact shape and cleanliness. I also use a reversing ring to mount the wide angle in front of another lens, to do macro photography with my Nikon. It doesnt have to be a Nikon lens–I use a Minolta wide angle, as the only connection is through a reversing ring. If you have a manual lens, you can set the diaphragm wide open; otherwise you will have to jury-ring the diaphragm to remain open.


#23

I change lancet about once a decade!
Jeff


#24

Another old timer saying “DITTO” for me!


#25

Dave—I remember a similar thread here at TuD from years ago in which the “prize” for most tests with a single lancet went to someone who managed to get around 300 finger pricks from a single lancet. It was during a period when insurance coverage was getting more cockeyed: if you tested a lot and so had good control and a low A1c to “prove” it, your insurance company could say: “see you don’t need so many strips and lancets” and cut you way off—a demonstration of Illogic that made sense only to your insurance company. We were all trying to figure out ways of controlling our need for strips then. I had to go from 300 strips/day to 30/day as dictated by my insurance…


#26

I have gone way past 300 pricks from a single lancet. Imagine that my average tests per day is 15-17 and I’d go months without changing. One month equals at least 450 tests. I’m sure I’ve gone over 1,000 tests on a single lancet. And I never have noticed a decrease in the puncture efficacy, nor any increase in pain. And “no”, my fingers are not numb. :slight_smile:


#27

Many of you seem to think that getting thousands of tests from a single lancet or using one for the greatest amount of time should be something we all want to emulate. I don’t buy it. My insurance covers 800 lancets as a three month supply, so I have more than enough to make sure that I have a fairly clean, very sharp lancet when I test. Why should I want to use an old, dirty lancet for blood draws? The great thing about this discussion is that we all are autonomous. We can do whatever we want to do because we all have control of our own habits and life. I choose to replace lancets daily to give me the best chance I can to get a good, clean draw in a painless way. I am glad that your habits, no matter what they are, work well for you. In the end, we all just need to do what works for us to be as healthy and as in control as we can. If nothing else, this discussion proves that multiple tests, no matter how they are drawn, gives us better control. And that control is the real key to a good life with diabetes.


#28

You seem to refuse to accept the fact that many of us here don’t change lancets very often. That shouldn’t bother you just like it doesn’t bother me if you change yours every single time. It’s not like we are committing a crime for god sakes


#29

I don’t think anyone suggested that. It really comes down to what you said: “we can do whatever we want to do.” That goes for everyone :slight_smile:


#30

I found out about Fast Clicks from a diabetes educator/school nurse seminar at Joslin in Boston, and both my T1D daughter and I have been using those exclusively since. For anyone who doesn’t know them, the Fast Clicks come in boxes of lancet caps that have 6 needles in them. So, you can pretend like it’s your good old days with one lancet a day, but you really just click a lever after each test and you have a clean, fresh, unscarred, and pretty painless finger stick each time. The other hassle reliever is that the lancets are self contained: once all 6 are used and you pull off the cap, the unit is a self contained sharps, and you can throw it away.


#31

I used to do what every other T1D person I know does, just as you described above. I always hated the mess and hassle of changing the lancet part, and would always have issues with the caps or lancets falling out of my bag where our pets could get to them… disposal was always an issue. Then, I discovered the Fast Clicks system…
I found out about Fast Clicks from a diabetes educator/school nurse seminar at Joslin in Boston, and both my T1D daughter and I have been using those exclusively since. For anyone who doesn’t know them, the Fast Clicks come in boxes of lancet caps that have 6 needles in them. So, you can pretend like it’s your good old days with one lancet a day, but you really just click a lever after each test and you have a clean, fresh, unscarred, and pretty painless finger stick each time. The other hassle reliever is that the lancets are self contained: once all 6 are used and you pull off the cap, the unit is a self contained sharps, and you can throw it away.


#32

I will have to check this out. I have no problem changing the lancet once a day. I usually do it first test of the morning when I am home, and then use it the rest of the day. The Fast Clicks sound very convenient. Once I have used up the 800+ lancets that I currently have, I might try the system. I am happy that you have found something that works well for you and for your daughter.


#33

I like the FastClix for an entirely different reason: It’s lacing action is more stable than every other lancing device I’ve tried – dramatically minimizing the discomfort caused by it. Accu-Chek products are not in my insurance formulary, but self-funding lancets is worth it to me for the comfort.

That said, I’m one of the “offenders” – though I DID change my lancet this month!! This week, even :smile:.


#34

The FastClix has also helped me change lancets more often. I probably change on average of every two to four weeks. But I only test about six times a day since using the Dexcom (some days more if my Dexcom is acting up).

I used to be one who only changed a couple of times a year. With the FastClix, it’s so easy that if I find myself having to poke my finger more than once, I’ll just flick the switch and change it.

I’m 26 years in and my fingers are still sensitive enough to read braille (which I learned as a child), so the days of rarely changing lancets haven’t done much damage.


#35

I seldom carry lancets so don’t change them very often (translate: 1-2 yrs?)… I have been diabetic for 33+ yrs so I don’t give changing lancets much thought anymore, but after seeing this thread, I changed the lancet and have to admit, it was pretty awesome! Instant sample with no pain! I usually can’t get much blood and do feel it, although after all these years, I don’t think about that either. Snap! Think I will see about getting A Fast Clicks device. Thanks for the post! :-):smiley:


#36

We all are in this together. I am glad that this thread made you more aware of the possibility of changing the lancet more often. I don’t change mine once I leave the house, but I do change each morning so I have a relatively new, sharp, clean lancet to use for the day. I like to be good to myself in any small ways that I can. Hang in there and have a great week!


#37

I feel that the Fast Clix is THE premier lancet device currently on the market (which is why I mentioned it in my first post on this thread :slight_smile: )


#38

I’ve been using the lancing device that came with my onedrop meter and it is fantastic. There seems to be something about it that causes less pain although I don’t know why that would be.


#39

Two things that reduce pain when poking a fingertip, other than the tip design, are the speed of retraction (how strong the spring is tensioned), and the depth of penetration. That’s why some of the short lancet devices I have gotten with some meters, I set aside or toss, as they don’t have strong enough springs so they hurt from the additional length of time the tip is in my finger tips. When I first started out in the 70’s, I used bare lancets! Poking a finger without the lancet device is something I don’t recommend unless you are into pain.


#40

True confessions time—even with the magical 6-lancet barrels, I only click to a new lancet every other day or so. The spring reloads after every test—my first multiple uses were accidental! I swear!

I’ve read elsewhere that some Fast-Clixers only change the barrel when Mom yells “ How long have you been using that thing?!?”