Our primer answers the key questions faced by Diabetics on a daily basis.
CAN I REUSE MY LANCETS?
Reusing a lancet is dangerous and a strict no. Each time you use a lancet, skin tissue, blood cells, and whatever germs maybe dormant on your skin transfers to the lancet, even if it’s a microscopic amount. A used needle can have bacteria from the skin in and on it. Bacteria can contaminate the skin when used again. Each time you reuse a lancet, you’re putting yourself in danger of infection.
Diabetics are more sensitive to infections, therefore, they should use a new sterile lancet every time.
Certain types of bacteria can be especially devastating and can even cause death. Several thousand diabetic patients die each year due to unsterile techniques causing abscesses, skin infections and sepsis, which is a generalized infection involving the blood.
Also reusing a lancet will give wrong results as old tissue from the Lancet tip will interfere with the blood sample.
Always dispose of the used lancet in a container for sharp/biohazard objects.
HOW TO REDUCE PAIN WHILE TESTING?
Control Click Lancing Device is equipped with multiple depth settings. The higher settings will penetrate deeper while the lower settings are for individuals with thin, sensitive skin such as senior citizen patients and children. The higher settings are for patients who have thick callouses on their skin which will allow the lancet to push through the calluses.
The lancet is a sterile grade steel needle encased in a plastic cylinder used to prick the finger. There are 2 common gauges that the needle comes in which are 28 and 30. The 28 gauge is a thick needle while the 30 gauge is the thin needle. We recommend using 30 gauge lancet so that you experience very less pain during lancing.
Also, the needle will begin to dull after one use and it will cause more pain the more you use it. It will lead to infection as well so please do not reuse a lancet.
IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE TO PRICKING YOUR FINGERS FOR BLOOD TESTS?
Pricking your fingers on a daily basis can lead to tough or callused skin, particularly if you have overused a particular part of a particular finger for blood tests.
Fingerstick tests can also be painful as there are a high density of nerve endings towards the ends of the fingers. Thankfully, Control D allows for Alternate Site Testing, which is where you use an alternative part of your body to take blood from.
These parts includes your hand, upper arm, forearm, calf or thighs. Please be careful to avoid moles, veins, bones, and tendons while doing this test.
Also you should be aware that Alternate Site Testing may lead to different results than you may get with finger testing as there can be a lag between blood sugar levels in the fingers and other parts of the body.
The meter’s information leaflet should be able to provide guidance so read it with care.
WHAT NUMBERS SHOULD I BE AIMING FOR WITH MY BLOOD SUGAR NUMBERS?
The ultimate aim is to achieve numbers as close to non-diabetic values as possible, this being between 72 to 108 mg/dL before meals and below 140 mg/dL after meals.
For some people, such as children or those at risk of hypoglycemia, the recommended guidelines may be broadened.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I TEST MY BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS?
There’s no hard and fast rule about how often one should test as different people will have different regimes.
The simplest answer is to test as many times as it takes to feel confident about your blood glucose control, however, not everyone may be happy testing several time per day and some may not be prescribed as much blood test strips as they’d like.
It is advisable to test either side of meals, once before eating and again after the meal to gauge how different meals affect your sugar levels.
It is a good idea to test before and after sleep until you have a good idea of whether your sugar levels are rising, falling or staying put over night.
HOW ACCURATE ARE BLOOD GLUCOSE METERS?
Blood glucose monitors are allowed to have up to 15% error in accuracy.
Control D understands the importance of an accurate meter and we always strive to get the results within 5% range.
There may be minor effects and variation as a result of environmental conditions, such as heat, low temperatures or humidity.
One of the best ways to ensure accurate blood test results is to wash and dry your hands (or alternate site) before testing as unwashed hands can sometimes make a marked difference to the reading.
CAN YOU SQUEEZE THE PRICK SITE TO GET MORE SAMPLE?
The lancing device should be adjusted to get enough sample without squeezing the incision. There are multiple view on this subject and many do not recommend milking the wound because it gives a false reading by adding additional tissue fluids. The fact remains that if you find yourself having to squeeze for a blood sample, you probably haven’t used the lancet right or haven’t properly set up your lancet as the Control D test strips only need a 0.5 micro-liter of blood to get an accurate reading.
In the end, it’s up to the patient to find the best methods to get an accurate, quick, and less painful blood sample.