Should Lancets be Reused?
We asked a number of customers recently what they thought about reusing Lancets. Here are a few of their views:
"Reusing is a fact of life. People do it. Just like everything else, you need to be smart and do it in moderation. For example, fine needles like 30g can be safely used only twice, or maybe three times, without causing real problems. Thicker lancet needles can go longer. But don’t keep using the same one for days on end, please!"
"People with diabetes reuse lancets all the time, which seems pretty reasonable. However, the more someone reuses a lancet, the greater the discomfort, as the tip gets dull. Also, you shouldn’t wipe the lancet or needle with alcohol because that will remove the silicone coating and increase discomfort. It’s not a good idea to reuse lancets or when one is ill, has an infection, or has cuts or sores on their hands."
"As a long-timer with diabetes, I have personally developed a lot of bad habits, such as reusing lancets, needles, and syringes until they’re pretty dull. I have looked into the research on doing so, and assuming you bathe regularly and wash your hands, there does not appear to be a higher incidence of infections or other problems when you reuse these items. If you’re worried about it, pick a happy medium and use them only a couple of times. Myself, I prefer not to fill the landfills with more disposable medical waste than I have to"
As the supplier we're always going to tell everyone to use a new lancet at every testing site but we do appreciate they are dispoable single use items filling landfills and can be reused if used sensibly.
One tip to avoid pain is to try to never bend the needle when taking off the plastic tip. I was told by a huge lancet manufacturer once that this is the reason that lancets cause pain because the needle doesn't enter at right angles to the skin.