In spite of Single Use labeling syringe and lancet makers put on their products, many people choose to reuse syringes and lancets. Each time you use them, however, they become a little more dull, resulting in a more painful use. Discard after they become too uncomfortable to use.
Some people report getting between five and ten uses from a syringe and somewhat less from a lancet. If cost is an issue for you, this could be a way to make your healthcare dollars work harder.
Here are some general guidelines:
- Always wash your hands with soap and water before a blood test. This is even more important if you reuse your lancet.
- Do not clean the lancet after use. Just leave it in the lancing device. You already have any germs that might end up on the lancet tip.
- If the lancet touches anything other than your finger, discard it.
- When the lancet hurts too much, it means its getting dull. Discard it.
- Do not clean the needle after use. Just carefully recap the needle.
- Do not mix insulin types if you reuse syringes. Use one syringe for each insulin type. That means more injections, but certain insulins cannot be mixed without reducing their effectiveness.
- If the needle touches anything other than the injection site, discard it.
- When a needle hurts too much, it means that the silicone coating is wearing off and it's time to discard it.
- Ask the Diabetes Team question about needles breaking off under the skin
- Needles and Syringe Reuse Poll from September 2002
- ADA Position Statement on Insulin Administration, which includes a discussion on needle reuse
- Risks of Needle Reuse from BD
October 11, 2004
Last Updated: Wednesday March 16, 2005 15:45:14
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