Diabetes Forecast

2012 Lancing Devices


To use a blood glucose meter, you're going to need a little dot of blood. That means you'll be using some type of lancing device along with your meter. For some people, testing can be the toughest part of diabetes management. Multiple finger sticks can be painful or annoying. However, today's meters on the market generally require small blood samples, use test strips that efficiently wick up blood, and often come with lancing devices that can make drawing blood less painful.

Lancing devices are spring-loaded, pen-shaped tools that prick your skin with a needle. Most blood glucose meters come with a lancing device.

In general, most lancing device instructions suggest changing the lancet, or needle, for each new prick. Some, such as the Accu-Chek Multiclix, hold a drum of lancets so you don't need to manually change the lancet after each use. And some lancing devices, such as the Microlet2, offer multiple depth settings, so those with sensitive skin can delicately draw blood, while those with thicker skin or calluses can draw blood easily.

Lancets with the smallest needles are usually the least painful (the Tiniboy lancet, introduced in 2010, is popular), but if any lancet is used too many times, it gets duller, leading to more pain.

Lancets should be disposed of properly. Don't throw them away in your regular trash. Lancets can rip through a garbage bag—and poke someone. You can save the clear plastic cartridge many lancets are packaged in to use for disposal, or you can throw them away in a sharps container. These are made of plastic (they can be as simple as a milk or detergent jug with a secure top) and sealed so no one accidentally gets stuck and/or exposed to bloodborne disease. On that note, remember that no one else but you should use your lancing device (even if you change lancets).



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