Individuals trying to manage their diabetes have to monitor their blood glucose, which means lots of testing. That, in turn, means a lot of finger pricking for blood samples.
Most people with diabetes use a lancet device to obtain a blood sample, as they’re safe, sterile, and less painful than other methods. However, there are many models on the market, and they’re not all made equal. To help you find the best option, let’s look at how a lancet device works and which models are most popular.
What Is a Lancing Device?
A lancing device is a small piece of equipment that holds and propels lancets into the skin. They’re designed for easy use and are fairly inexpensive.
Why use a lancet device instead of the lancets alone? The device can deliver more force — usually powered by a spring mechanism — to quickly break the skin. Fast delivery means less pain, which hopefully makes blood sugar monitoring a little less uncomfortable. Understandably, collecting a blood sample isn’t something anyone looks forward to, but a good lancet device can make it something you don’t necessarily dread.
How Do I Use a Lancing Device?
In addition to making sampling less painful, a lancet device can also make it quicker and less messy. Of course, to ensure you’re getting an adequate sample that yields accurate readings, you’ll need to follow a careful procedure each time you use the device.
Wash Your Hands
First, you need to wash your hands. Our hands come into contact with all sorts of surfaces throughout the day and can pick up substances that can throw off blood glucose readings. For example, eating lunch can leave food residue on your fingers, resulting in higher measurements.
Next, make sure to dry your hands completely. This is to prevent contamination, as water can dilute the sample and leave you with inaccurate readings. If you like, you can also clean your skin with an alcohol wipe, but this isn’t necessary if you wash your hands with soap and warm water. In fact, alcohol can dry out the skin and lead to tightness, so if your fingers have been sore lately, you may want to give them a break by skipping the alcohol.
Prepare the Device
Before you can use the device, you’ll need to insert the lancet. This usually involves taking off a cap of some kind and putting the lancet inside the device, making sure to lock it into place. You can then take the cover off the lancet, replace the cap, and set the lancing level. For the best experience, you want to use the lowest setting possible. This may take some experimentation; to find the optimal setting, start at the lowest setting, and work your way up until you find an option that delivers a large enough sample.
Prick Your Finger
Now that the device is prepped, you can easily prick your finger. To trigger the spring, you can simply press the cap opening against your skin. Make sure to apply pressure evenly.
Once you’ve taken the sample, make sure you dispose of the lancet. While it may be tempting to use it again to save money, the tip gets dulled with every use, leading to more painful punctures as time goes on.
What Should I Look for When Choosing a Lancing Device?
How can you tell if a lancet device is any good? Honestly, there are many great models out there and some things, such as size and design, are up to your personal preference. However, there are three things you should consider when looking for a device: the needle size, lancet compatibility, and loudness of the spring.
Lancets come in all sizes, but smaller needles are superior. Their minimal surface area allows them to pierce the skin more easily, providing a more comfortable experience. Make sure the device you choose can take the smallest needles available.
Additionally, not all lancets are manufactured to lock into every device. Check to make sure the device is compatible with the lancets you use. Models that can accept various lancet types are a plus, as it gives you more flexibility when ordering supplies.
Compared to literally jamming a needle into your finger, enduring a loud noise may seem like a piece of cake. However, a loud spring can be jarring, causing you to jump and potentially miss the area you were aiming for. If you’re not a fan of sudden noises, a loud spring may also contribute to glucose testing dread. With this in mind, look for a device that has a quiet spring or other mechanisms.
What Are the Best Lancing Devices?
Lancet devices have come a long way, and no doubt new models will be even more efficient. The following devices are all designed for the easiest, least painful experience, making them a great place to start when searching for a new device.
Microlet Next Lancing Device
This device is a good option for individuals who are less familiar with the sample-taking process. Its cp locks to prevent accidental finger pricking and has a “smooth glide mechanism” for minimal pain. Additionally, it has five settings and can take silicone-coated lancets.
Freestyle Lancing Device
One of the more affordable models, the Freestyle Lancing Device, makes lancet disposal easy with a release mechanism. It also has multiple depth settings and takes ultrathin lancets.
Genteel Lancing Device
Although expensive at over $100, the Genteel Lancing Device may just be worth it. This unique model is compatible with square-based lancets of any kind and boasts a unique type of technology. Instead of merely pricking the skin, this device also pulls blood from the wound by creating a vacuum. This allows a shallower puncture without sacrificing sample size.
One Touch Delica
The One Touch Delica has seven depth settings and minimal vibration to ensure the puncture is clean and exactly where you want it. Additionally, it has a lancet release mechanism for easy disposal and is compatible with ultrafine needles.
If you want quick testing, the Accu-Chek FastClix has you covered. It has 11 depth settings and can hold up to six preloaded lancets, which means you don’t have to load a needle every time you test.
Here at MedEnvios Healthcare, we believe obtaining diabetes supplies should be convenient, which is why we deliver right to your door. For more information or to begin your order, visit our online store today.
Featured Image: Shutterstock / Slam.pukkato