For this week’s Q&A section of the blog, we’re going to address the issue of lancets. Specifically, why you probably have so many and why we keep sending more. At Diathrive, the number of lancets we send you on a quarterly basis is the same as the number of testing strips we send you. Why? You may ask. The answer is actually really simple. You should use a new lancet every time you test. Every time?!? Yes, you read that right, every time you test.
We are shocked at the number of individuals who don’t change their lancets every time they test. We have talked with people who have literally tested for months at a time, several times per day, without changing their lancet. There are a lot of reasons why you should change your lancet every time you test. You’ve probably heard many of them. For example, changing your lancet decreases the chances of infection. Used and dirty lancets can also affect your test results. The list goes on and on. For many people, these reasons just aren’t enough of a reason to change out their lancets.
At Diathrive, we think the most compelling reason to change your lancet every time is that pricking your finger will hurt less and will heal quicker if you change your lancet every time you test. You see, lancets are made with incredibly small needles that are marked in gauges like 28g, 30g, 32g, etc. While it seems a bit backward, the smaller the number, the thicker the needles are. Even with a thicker gauge like a 28g, the needles are still incredibly small and after one use, the tip of the needle has been damaged. After multiple uses, the tips start to resemble a fish hook. Instead of being pricked by a sharp point, you are being pricked by a blunt bent tip and then the sharp tip is tearing your finger as it exits, ouch! Every time you use that lancet, the prick will become more painful.
For a better illustration of see the images below of a used lancet. This is the same lancet magnified 370x on the left and 2000x on the right.
As you can see, the lancet is bent significantly. That means that every time you use it, microscopic amounts of tissue are getting pulled out of your skin. That tissue sits on the end of your lancet unless you disinfect it, which is very difficult to do. It’s much more sanitary, effective, and efficient to change your lancet every time.
Another factor to consider is the strength of the spring in your lancing device. Diathrive lancing devices use a very strong spring. We’ve chosen a strong spring because it allows the lancing device to prick your finger and retract much quicker than a weaker spring. This speed of the prick reduces the pain you will feel. Additionally, the strong spring reduces the chance of having to prick your finger multiple times.
Of course, with a stronger spring, the 30g lancets we use take the majority of the impact which will cause the needle to bend and cause you more pain. The simplest solution is to swap out your lancet every time. That way you know you’re using an undamaged, sterile lancet for the least painful pricking experience possible.
Do you have a question about testing that you would like our team to answer? If so, please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org