Needle use economics

By luked Latest Reply 2012-09-04 19:07:45 -0500
Started 2012-09-01 06:00:01 -0500

I read in Blood Sugar 101, about her theory of using a needle more than once if it was you and you alone using the needle. She recommended that you wash your hand thoroughly and that multiple sticks were okay. I use the multiclix with the six needle drum. Very comfortable with it. My script is only for 4 tests per day, so using a needle more than once is economical if I want to test 6 times a day. I would like to hear what others feel about this theory. Thanks everyone.

12 replies

locarbarbie 2012-09-04 15:23:42 -0500 Report

But you are still using multiple test strips right?…and those are generally the more expensive. When I was diagnosed, I was only allowed to test twice per day (thru a low income clinic). I wanted to test more frequently so what I did was join a "freecycle" group in my area. I was then able to get free test strips and lancets for my meter when a posting came up and I responded. I was able to post my own unneeded items for others who could use them. That might be an option for you.

MAYS 2012-09-03 19:02:57 -0500 Report

There are pros and cons to this…you run the risk of a possible infection, and depending on how often you re use a needle, you are wearing away some of the the protective coating that allows the needle to slide smoothly into your skin as you insert it, so after a few times of doing this it becomes both dull and painful!

But then comes the cost effectiveness of doing so, you save money by using fewer needles over a period of time thereby saving some for future use.
So if it works for you and the risk is minimal, by all means do so, just understand the risk involved, some of which are listed below:

A used needle can have bacteria from the skin in and on it. Bacteria can contaminate the bottle of insulin when reinserted into the bottle. The bottled insulin is a growth medium that can allow the bacteria to reproduce. Insulin is stored in a refrigerator to prevent bacterial growth.

Certain types of bacteria when injected can be especially devastating and can even cause death. In the U.S., several thousand diabetic patients die each year due to bad sterile technique causing abscesses, skin infection and sepsis, which is generalized infection involving the blood.

(Although Insulin is mentioned, this also applies to piercing your skin with a lancet)


Type1Lou 2012-09-03 17:33:05 -0500 Report

I've been reusing my lancets for years and have had no problems. I can go a month or more without changing one and I test 7 to 8 times a day. When I was on MDI (Multiple Daily Injections) of insulin, I also reused my Novolog needles, probably up to ten times and never had problems. Of course, the doctors and nurses frown upon reuse but they aren't paying for them. I'm now using a pump but still reuse the lancets for testing.

Ms. DAT 2012-09-04 19:07:45 -0500 Report

Yes infection control is a high factor in home care settings. It is not recommended that you reuse needle's but of course finances is an issue.
If you need to reuse a needle make sure to reduce any risk of infection for you.

judy makowski
judy makowski 2012-09-03 11:55:55 -0500 Report

I also use the clix and I reuse it unti it causes pain. I don't share with others so that shouldn't give me a problem. It is economical and lord knows we have to be careful. I have already hit the donut hole with medicare and have to spend $4,000.00 before I can get any help. I do what ever I can as long as it doesn't hurt me in some way

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-09-02 16:18:55 -0500 Report

You can use them more than once as long as you are not sharing them. Someone gave me a bag of about 1000 brand new lancets that were used for giveaways and I still have about 500 of them.

Harlen 2012-09-01 20:09:14 -0500 Report

If you need some lancets I would be glad to send you some
I use them three to five times before I trade them out or till they start to sting lol
best wishes

Kirla 2012-09-01 18:37:16 -0500 Report

I change lancets about once or twice a year. If it starts to sting a bit or if I find I have to prick my finger 4-5 times to get a drop of blood changing the lancet usually works. I test 6-8 times a day.

Nick1962 2012-09-01 11:59:05 -0500 Report

If you mean the lancet device, I can go a month without changing. Others might not. If my finger gets sore, it ususally means the lancet is dull or "less than sterile".

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