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How often do you or your child change your lancet for blood glucose checks?


I manually change the lancet each time






My lancing device automatically uses a new lancet each time






More than once a day, but not every time






Once a day






Every other day






Every three days or so






When the lancet hurts too much






When the lancet is so dull that it stops puncturing my skin












Total votes: 511

How often do you or your child change your lancet for blood glucose checks?

Poll dates: October 8 - 15, 2008
Total Votes: 511

Photo - click for larger image.
Photomicrograph from BD showing close up of insulin syringe needle after reuse. The same bending occurs in the newest thin lancets. Click for a larger image.

Ask adults with type 1 diabetes how often they change their lancet and you're likely to get a chuckle as a response. Last year, we added two new response options to capture this reality and -- to no surprise -- a surprisingly large number of people change only when the lancet bounces off the skin (20%).

As lancets and syringe needles have become thinner in recent years, their ability to stand up to repeated use has declined. Syringe and lancet maker BD has used photomicrographs of needles after six uses, showing the tip bent back into a fish hook shape, to caution against reuse. That image is reproduced on the right.

When a needle or lancet is bent over like this, it can cause additional trauma. In the case of lancets, that can mean more pain at the finger tips (or alternate sites). If you reuse lancets and getting blood starts hurting more than usual, it's definitely time to change the lancet.

For more information, see the ADA's Position Statement on Insulin Administration from 2004, which has a section on needle reuse.

To help you with changing lancets, the Roche Multiclix Lancing Device is highly recommended. Not only does the Multiclix hold six lancets in an internal drum, but the drum also prevents the sharp tip from being exposed when you change the drum. This means that there is no chance of an accidental stick from a used lancet.

The table below compares results of last week's poll with the same poll run over the past years.

Answer Oct 2008 Oct 2007 Oct 2006 Oct 2005 Oct 2004 Jan 2003
Each time 19% 22% 23% 21% 14% 27%
My device changes automatically 4% -- -- -- -- --
More than once a day 9% 11% 11% 12% 8% 10%
Once a day 19% 18% 20% 21% 20% 22%
Every other day 3% 5% 4% 3% 4% 4%
Every three days or so 9% 10% 11% 8% 24% 24%
When the lancet hurts too much 12% 9% 9% 9% -- -
When the lancet is so dull that it stops puncturing my skin 18% 20% 15% 22% -- -
Other 1% 1% 3% 2% 18% 13%

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Last Updated: Wednesday October 15, 2008 13:14:36
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