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Diabetes Forecast

The Healthy Living Magazine

Lancing Devices

Today’s finger-stick devices offer features to edge out the competition

By Allison Nimlos , ,

It’s not unusual to spend hours researching insulin pumps and glucose meters in order to optimize diabetes management. But how many people give a second thought to their lancing device? Most people simply use the device that comes with their glucose meter. Lancing devices also are sold separately, however. Let’s look at which devices may be a good fit for your life.

If you have trouble changing your lancet …

It’s suggested that you change the lancet for each finger stick to prevent infection and reduce the pain caused by a blunt lancet. But remembering to do so and handling the tiny lancets can be a challenge for some people.

Then try …

accu check fastclix lancing device

Accu-Chek FastClix

Accu-Chek’s FastClix pen-like lancing device holds a drum of six lancets, which means you don’t have to fumble with tiny sharps. Push a lever on the device to advance to the next lancet; a small window shows how many unused lancets are left. The drum is also a great way to avoid seeing and handling needles, if those make you squeamish.

The FastClix is a “one-click” lancing device, which means it doesn’t require cocking of a spring before lancing. Pressing down on the end of the device, like clicking a pen, will prick your finger. The FastClix has 11 depth settings that allow you to adjust how deeply the lancet pricks through your skin; tough, calloused fingers may require a deeper setting.

If you want something you can operate with one hand …

One-handed lancing devices also tend to be small and portable, which means they take up less space in your case or pocket.

Then try …

LifeScan OneTouch Delica

At just over 3 inches long, LifeScan’s OneTouch Delica is one of the smallest lancing devices on the market. Because the release button is on the side of the short device, you can cock the spring and push the button with one hand. The Delica has two lancet sizes: 30 gauge (fine) and 33 gauge (extra fine). It does not work with universal lancets.

Bayer Microlet2

Bayer’s Microlet2 is also a short, one-handed lancing device, a bit wider and flatter than the Delica. It has a textured gripping surface and a big blue button on the side that is easy to press. The Microlet2, which uses Microlet square-shaft lancets, has five depth settings and a lancet ejection button so you don’t have to pull on the sharp to change it.

If you find pricking your finger very painful …

Your fingers are packed with hundreds of nerve endings, so it’s no surprise that pricking your finger can be an unpleasant, even painful, sensation. Experts suggest pricking the side rather than the sensitive tip of the finger.

Then try …

The Autolet Impression from Owen Mumford has seven depth and three force settings for an overall combination of 21 different lancing options. The device, which uses Unilet lancets, also has eight raised dots that stimulate surrounding nerves when you press it to your skin, which may mask the weaker pain stimulus from the prick.

One of the newest (and, at $129, most expensive) lancing devices on the market, Genteel, is designed to reduce pain in several ways. It uses vibration and speedy lancing action and creates a vacuum at the skin to mask and reduce painful sensations. Color-coded contact tips added to the outside of the nozzle adjust the depth setting. Alternate site testing is possible. The device works with many of the square-shaft lancets on the market. 

If you have a difficult time holding on to small objects …

Holding a lancing device while pricking the finger can be cumbersome for people who have trouble with manual dexterity. Or maybe you just have trouble keeping track of tiny objects!

Then try …

Nipro Diagnostics Truedraw

If you’re looking for a longer lancing device that has the release button on the side, consider the Truedraw from Nipro Diagnostics. The Truedraw also comes with five depth settings and can be used with any universal lancet. Accu-Chek’s MultiClix is also a longer, pen-shaped device with the release button on the side. The ridges and finger indent on the Bayer Microlet2 (above) also make for easier gripping.

Beyond the Fingers

You don’t have to prick a finger to check your blood glucose. Alternate site testing is a possibility with some meters and lancing devices. Testing elsewhere on your body may provide relief if you have difficulty using your fingers or want to rest sore spots. Alternate sites, such as the fleshy part of the palm, forearm, and upper arm, can be used for blood glucose checks before meals and when fasting—times when your blood glucose level is not likely to be changing quickly. Do not use an alternate site when you think you are low or at times when blood glucose changes can be rapid, such as after eating and during and after exercise. The glucose level at the alternate site will be different than the true level in the blood at those times. Lancing devices that offer alternate site testing require you to switch the regular end cap with an included, transparent alternate site cap or a contact tip.

 
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