Controlling diabetes means controlling blood sugar, and for many people that means regularly testing blood with a glucose monitor. The most distressing part of testing is usually getting the blood sample. Though most monitors need just the slightest amount of blood to test, finger pricking can still be painful. Having the right tools needed for the blood sample—a lancing device and lancets—will help make the process easier.
The lancet is the actual needle-like steel used to prick the skin; the lancing device holds the lancet in place to make it easier and less painful to get the finger prick. Think of the lancing device as a ballpoint pen that you apply to a fingertip. When you click it again your finger, the lancet moves into place and pierces the skin.
Because skin thickness can vary, some devices offer different gauges, like the Invacare Lancing Device. Fully adjustable, it has five depth settings that adjusts to match different skin types: 4 and 5 for hard to penetrate skin, 3 for average skin and 1 and 2 for soft skin. Also, it can be used with any standard or universal lancet. Note that when you need to exert more and more pressure, it's time to replace your lancing device.
Some monitors are also designed to work with specific lancing devices and lancets. This not only ensures your comfort, but also the most accurate results. Usually both items will need to be not only from the same manufacturer, but also from the same system so that they will work perfectly together. For instance, the easy-to-use Penlet® Plus Adjustable Blood Sampler is meant for One Touch meters and lancets. Like many lancing devices, it allows you to select the most comfortable depth setting to obtain a drop of blood and offers hands-free lancet removal. The OneTouch Delica Lancing Device with Advanced Glide™ Control for reduced vibration for smoother lancing and the thinnest needle available from OneTouch works only with OneTouch Delica lancets. Be sure to find a system you like and that meets your needs.
A great option that eliminates the need for separate lancing device and lancets is the Invacare® Bullseye Safety Lancet. This is a single-use, retractable lancet has a one-of-a-kind color indicator that disappears after the device has been used and eliminates potential for cross contamination. Each lancet is individually wrapped for maximum sterility. The lancet also offers a locking safety cap, which ensures safe disposal. It requires just two simple steps: Remove cap and fire.
Whether you use a one-step or two-step lancing system, each lancet can only be used once. These are thin needles that wear out easily and the needle tip can easily become contaminated. That's why it's important to never share your diabetes items with anyone else.