Lancelets-used more than once

By Latest Reply 2008-11-24 06:30:33 -0600
Started 2008-10-26 02:42:40 -0500

I am having a real problem with my husband; he just doesn't believe how dangerous infection to hands and feet can be. He insists on using his lancelets until his disk is done, and then changes both. He does not test regularly, so germs can build up faster, he says he cleans it after every use, but I am not convince. Has anyone else done this, and is it harmful if it is only used on you. Although, he did test my daughter and I a couple of times, before I did find this out; What are the risks?


57 replies

seawolf1944
seawolf1944 2008-11-03 19:54:00 -0600 Report

I test once per day with one lancet. I then dispose of the lancet in an approriate manner. Useing a lancet more than once is tatamount to haveing total disrespect for yourself,If,You are useing the lancet on other family members after,You have aready used it,You are playing russian roullett with their lives. When,I first starting testing my BG,I used a lancet,Then used an acohol swab,cleaned and reused it. Needless to say my doctor found out about my little escapade via my wife. Needless to say after,My next doctors visit, I felt well educated and somewhat humbled. Needless to say,I was firmly informed that should,I chose to continue my reckless practice then,I should consider finding another doctor. I was informed that my practice was inviteing infection and possibly death. Look at it this way,Your family needs you. You need your family. You all need to keep each other healthy.John

seawolf1944
seawolf1944 2008-11-03 19:53:58 -0600 Report

I test once per day with one lancet. I then dispose of the lancet in an approriate manner. Useing a lancet more than once is tatamount to haveing total disrespect for yourself,If,You are useing the lancet on other family members after,You have aready used it,You are playing russian roullett with their lives. When,I first starting testing my BG,I used a lancet,Then used an acohol swab,cleaned and reused it. Needless to say my doctor found out about my little escapade via my wife. Needless to say after,My next doctors visit, I felt well educated and somewhat humbled. Needless to say,I was firmly informed that should,I chose to continue my reckless practice then,I should consider finding another doctor. I was informed that my practice was inviteing infection and possibly death. Look at it this way,Your family needs you. You need your family. You all need to keep each other healthy.John

Lito - 18599
Lito - 18599 2008-10-31 08:58:58 -0500 Report

It is dangerous! Let us follow very strictly the notices that are printed in every pack of syringes and lancets that says: SINGLE USE.

Anonymous
Anonymous 2008-10-31 11:39:05 -0500 Report

Thank you. I have never re used lancets or needles. But from this post their are some that do. I am afraid of infections so I am with you. Single use only.

John Crowley
John CrowleyCA 2008-11-03 09:58:05 -0600 Report

Everyone completely agrees about the syringes. No one from what I can see is reusing any syringes.

I know I was referring specifically to the lancets used for finger pricks.

sexyswamprat
sexyswamprat 2008-10-27 07:26:48 -0500 Report

I change mine after every use only because I have hep c. And being extra safe is very important to me. All my used lancets go in to one of those biohazard containers and when it's full I take it to my doctor or hospital and have them dispose of it. They give me a new container each time. It takes awhile to fill though since they are only lancets. But I know I'm not putting anyone at risk. Otherwise, I really don't see the problem with using the same one more than once, if you feel comfortable doing so.

Anonymous
Anonymous 2008-10-27 07:50:05 -0500 Report

I've used my lancets more than once, but change it out as well! I put my used ones in an empty soda bottle, is that ok to do?

Anonymous
Anonymous 2008-10-27 11:21:02 -0500 Report

Everyone should check with their local government codes. On their policies and practices. Or ask your doctor how they would suggest disposing of them. It is not really the container, it is the disposing of the container that would be in question. Some places you are not allowed to put it in your household trash for regular pick up day.

Lee Ann - 22107
Lee Ann - 22107 2008-10-27 06:59:17 -0500 Report

I didn't know you could even change it.

sexyswamprat
sexyswamprat 2008-10-27 07:30:08 -0500 Report

I'm not sure I understand. Have you been using the same lancet since you were dx with diabetes?

Lee Ann - 22107
Lee Ann - 22107 2008-10-27 08:19:13 -0500 Report

No, I was making a joke. They didn't even have home blood glucose testing when I was diagnosed, LOL. I rarely change mine though. As John Crowley suggested, it's one thing I can be lazy about without it really mattering. There aren't very many places to cut corners, so I take advantage of ever little corner I can cut.

2008-11-23 06:04:49 -0600 Report

I kind of half-chuckled too, because we were newly diagnosed at the time I made this post, and to tell you the truth. I really didn't know if you were joking or not. Glad to see your were. I should not take everything so seriously, and remember there are still some lighthearted and lovely people.

Lito - 18599
Lito - 18599 2008-11-23 22:49:02 -0600 Report

Lancetttes and other sharp thins such as syringe should be disposed properly avery after used. Lancettes are not really expensive, it is in fact very affordable, don't take the risk of infection and other related problems that you will get in reusing lancettes or syringe.

2008-11-24 06:30:33 -0600 Report

I got a lot out of this site in the past three months of being newly diagnosed, which I believe thanks to everyone here, can now move on to posts as type 2 with a much better understanding. some of the small things can even be so hard to know what to do about. thanks again :->)Claudia

2rs
2rs 2008-10-27 05:52:18 -0500 Report

I've been diagnosed for almost 2 years & always used a new lancet each time until I watched a video of one of our members "day in the life", who didn't change it. Also someone else on one of these discussions threads a while back said that he hadn't changed in over a year, then someone else said so, too. So, I only change mine when it starts feeling dull. Plus, I'm the only one using it. The one thing I really hate about diabetes is hw much trash/waste is generated by the medical stuff.

momma_havens
momma_havens 2008-10-27 03:19:51 -0500 Report

i usally don't make comments about dissussions on here,but this one really got to me, since i am a nurse,,,,, lots are usally given in large amounts when a script is written,,,,it just amazes me to see how many people say that its ok to reuse a lancet, why take a chance of infection if there is a question? it makes you think

MAMA J
MAMA J 2008-10-27 03:01:44 -0500 Report

i dont change mine every time and i have not had a problem. i do change it if i test one of my kids.

John Crowley
John CrowleyCA 2008-10-27 02:51:07 -0500 Report

So, this is certainly going to freak some of you out, but my son reuses lancets for weeks at a time. He's never had any kind of infection because of it and I figure it's one thing he can kind of be relaxed about. He has to be on top of so many things. I just don't worry much about this one as it has never caused anything negative.

kdroberts
kdroberts 2008-10-27 03:13:38 -0500 Report

I'm like this too. I use the multiclix and haven't bough a new package of lancet drums in probably a year. Sometimes I'll use the same one for weeks on myself, if I test somebody else they get their own single use one, if I'm someplace unclean I might switch after using. I don't use alcohol (dries out fingers which can lead to infection and they can interfere with the reading, most healthcare professionals will tell you not to use them, especially if you test a lot) and I rarely wash my hands. If I happen to test after going to the bathroom or having a shower then my hands will be washed, otherwise I just test. My general rule is if I'm willing to put a finger in my mouth, it's clean enough to test with. The chance of infection from not washing hands, using alcohol wipes or the same lancette is about the same as rubbing your eye without washing your hands, eating a sandwich without washing your hands, putting your hands around your mouth or any other such activity. I keep my hands clean, I wash them properly so if I'm using antibacterial soap it actually works and I'm comfortable in carrying on doing so.

Pauline B
Pauline B 2008-10-27 05:51:10 -0500 Report

I've been diabetic nearly 10 years and am on the original box of lancets. I change to a new one when friends ask to have their glucose checked, and throw that one away, as I do believe in cross-contamination. Once in awhile I wash my hands, but that's when I've been cooking. When I was working in the hospital, and exposed to an assortment of pathogens hourly, I was more compulsive about washing my hands, but not about changing the device. I still use the same two fingers on each hands (last 2) and though they are getting numb, the blood's still there! (This morning's fasting glucose was 98.)

Lanore
Lanore 2008-10-27 02:10:28 -0500 Report

Being diabetic for over 20 yrs I have reused my lancets until i feel I need a new one, since I am the only one using it and have never had a problem. I NEVER reuse my insulin needles. Lanore :-)

Avera
Avera 2008-10-26 16:41:31 -0500 Report

I just use each of mine one time for testing. Never really thought of using them more than once. But I do always either wash my hands before or sometimes just use sterile cleaning pad.

momoftype1
momoftype1 2008-10-26 15:13:20 -0500 Report

We do re-use the lancets, but absolutely have to either wash hands with warm water and soap-OR-use an alc wipe and insure that all alcohol has dried prior to sticking finger.

We have had 2 very serious calls due to residual food items being on hands and causing false readings which in both cases were over corrected and once caused us to have paremedics in our house at 3 am…

I think I worry a little more about the way items on your hands can impact your reading more than the worry about the infection.

Dawn

queen of flirts
queen of flirts 2008-10-26 15:29:16 -0500 Report

Evan with good hand washing there is a chance of infection. That is why they make disposables Also, the used ones may end up impacting your readings. They also could pick up dirt and germs just sitting around. So I believe in changing them before testing not after.

Anonymous
Anonymous 2008-10-26 12:08:41 -0500 Report

Is it really that important? I'm not trying to be rude, it's just that i've been diabetic for over 15 years and I've never been concerened about infection. I reuse lancets all the time and i don't always was hmy hands before I test. You guys are kind of making me nervous. haha

Gabby
GabbyPA 2008-10-26 14:29:14 -0500 Report

I wash my hands for a couple of reasons. One is to be clean, but the other is to get any kind of things off my fingers that might cause an inaccurate reading. I didn't do this in the beginning and found I would have to take several readings at one sitting and get a huge range. Now I rarely get more than a couple of point difference if I check it more than once at the same reading time.

Anonymous
Anonymous 2008-10-26 15:23:07 -0500 Report

I have been diabetic for over 13 years and have never reused anything. I am very cautious because I do not want an infection. Some people just worry more than others, to each their own. If you do not worry about it just let us that do, do what we want. The original post asked what people did. Everyone should be allowed to tell what they do.

Anonymous
Anonymous 2008-10-27 02:18:57 -0500 Report

I was not trying to do anything but understand the need. Even though I've been diabetic for so long, I'm just now trying to get it together. I was just trying to see if there was another reason other then cleanliness. Geuss what - I did learn something…it never occured to me that soemthing on my fingers could alter a reading. Sorry if I offended!

Gabby
GabbyPA 2008-10-27 11:14:47 -0500 Report

No one is saying one way is best, just offering suggestions on what works for each of us. No offence to be taken, we are just sharing.

2008-10-28 23:03:45 -0500 Report

Yes; I am sorry, I do not want to upset you, but I will tell you, that infections are very likely in hands and feet; and to keep your feet covered to protect them, and if you do pick up any kind of infection from cut or whatever; please contact your doctor. It is very important.

patti
patti 2008-10-26 08:13:10 -0500 Report

I use my lancets for a day then change them, My diabetic instructor said it is safe to use for a day, also if at home I dont use alcohol as lond as I wash my hands. I was told it dries out the skin and makes it harder to stick, I use alcohol only when I am out of the house to test.

Lisa Ann
Lisa Ann 2008-10-26 08:25:24 -0500 Report

I'm the same way. I wash my hands real good at home and when I out I use alcohol pads. Alcohol does dry out your skin real bad and being diabetic drys out your skin bad enough you don't need to add to it.

Sheryl
Sheryl 2008-10-27 06:08:24 -0500 Report

Same here, use the lancets several times. Have had no problems. Wash my hands well with hot soapy water.
Use alcohol swabs only when out and there is no where to wash my hands.
Was told to 'not' use alcohol if possible as it could also give a 'false' reading if not dried out when you test.
I am a type 2 and do not take insulin, which would require alcohol prior to an injection.
So washing hands and reusing the lancet works fine for me.

ShortyD
ShortyD 2008-10-26 07:49:54 -0500 Report

Same here. i theow in a gallon bleach jug,to put in the trash.

Lisa Ann
Lisa Ann 2008-10-26 08:22:38 -0500 Report

I use an old coffee can.

Anonymous
Anonymous 2008-10-26 08:28:17 -0500 Report

I use the Sharps container. It holds lots of needles, lancets, strips and you seal with the top and everything is contained and then I take it to my Doctors office during an appointment and they dispose of it properly. There was a report here that said some of the garbage people complained about getting stuck with improperly disposed of needles so my Doctor started this collecting of the Sharps containers.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2008-10-26 09:38:10 -0500 Report

I agree, you really should use your sharps container. My mom and I share one, but you can get one free. It really is the best way to dispose of all those pointy things.

2rs
2rs 2008-10-27 05:46:19 -0500 Report

Shorty D & Lisa,
PLEASE, please re-think how you are disposing of your used sharps! IMHO, using a used plastic container or coffee can is okay - throwing it in the trash is NOT, like shorty D is currently doing!
In the SF Bay Area, trash goes to landfills, & it is bad to put medical waste in the trash due to possible contamination. Many cities have programs for harzardous waste disposal & in CA, Kaiser Permamnente is now required to accept used sharps for proper disposal - I just took 5 containers last Saturday! So, please find out if your town/city or health care provider has a program for disposal that you can take advantage of! Thank you!

ShortyD
ShortyD 2008-10-27 11:02:47 -0500 Report

I have got my city web site.long they are in a hard plastic or hard metal container with a screw-on typelid. the container may then be placed placed in your toter

Lee Ann - 22107
Lee Ann - 22107 2008-10-27 09:01:02 -0500 Report

It's a good idea to call your local municipality to find out their requirements. When we moved into our house, I called, and they told me a coffee can or laundry detergent bottle was fine.

Lisa Ann
Lisa Ann 2008-10-26 07:32:26 -0500 Report

I always throw mine away after each use. I too wash my hands with warm soapy water before I test. I thought that would decrease the chance of getting an infection.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2008-10-26 07:19:16 -0500 Report

I used to only use my lancet for one reading, but now I use it for one day. So if that is 2 or 10 pricks, that is what I use. I also wash my hands with warm soapy water before each prick, and I use alcahol wipes as well. I keep my supplies in a zippered case all the time too, and that helps keep some of the germies out...well, maybe. LOL
I have not had any issues with doing it this way.

2008-10-26 07:32:13 -0500 Report

well, I guess he is doing something right then, cause he uses it for the disk, which is ten times, washes real good and cleans the needle real good each time with alcohol wipes. I am sorry I am such as nerd for worrying about infection; but, I myself have a real poblem worrying about germs, chemicals and all that stuff.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2008-10-26 07:41:05 -0500 Report

I am not saying that he should use one lancet over a period of days. I use mine for one day, then throw it away. If he is using it for a week or something like that, then I would worry some more.
And no, you are not being a nerd...infection is a very reall issue for diabetics. We have to be careful. Your concerns are well founded. Just keep an eye on him is all. You are doing the right thing to raise the flag.

2008-10-28 23:00:06 -0500 Report

Thanks, Gabby, I always love to see your input; you, definitely made me feel better about my question.:->)Claudia

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2008-10-28 23:07:35 -0500 Report

I use to use mine everyday, but since Medicare pays for my strips and lancets monthly I change mine once a day. With the transplant I don't need an infection if I have the source of getting these free. On the other hand, if I was paying for them I would probably reuse them from time to time.

2008-10-26 02:52:09 -0500 Report

I don't change the lancet every time I test and I've never had a problem with infection. I wash my hands before every test so they are clean. The diabetes nurse I work with told me it was ok to use them several times but to make sure you wash hands with soap and water EACH time and don't use it on someone else just yourself. I'm sure some will disagree with this approach but it works for me.

2008-10-26 02:55:46 -0500 Report

Thanks,fortunately for him he is very impulsive about clean hands. He uses anti-bacterial soap and washes good every time.

Anonymous
Anonymous 2008-10-26 02:50:23 -0500 Report

I never use anything more than once. Use a lancet once throw away. Use a needle for insulin throw it away. I use alcohol every time before I test my finger and before taking a shot. I am very afraid of infections.