Lancets are used for diabetic testing. It’s the device that punctures the finger (or alternative site for most new meters) to extract blood for testing. Diabetic lancets are available in different gauges. The gauge of the lancet refers width of the metal point. The higher the gauge, the smaller the perforation the lancet makes. Usually a higher-gauge lancet is less painful to use, but it may be harder to get an adequate amount of blood with a higher-gauge lancet.

Some individuals use lancets alone to get a blood sample. This method can sometime be painful so most people prefer to use some type of diabetic lancing device. A lancing device uses a spring mechanism to insert the lancet into the skin. It also allows the user to adjust the depth depending on the thickness of the skin and sensitivity of the fingertip. In this way, enough blood can be obtained without causing unnecessary pain. In most cases, when you buy a blood glucose monitor a lancing device is included.

Lancets and automatic lancing devices are frequently provided as part of blood glucose monitoring kits. Most lancet devices come with short and long lancet covers to provide different degrees of penetration, and many have adjustable covers or caps. Generally, people who are first-time users, children, or people with delicate skin prefer a longer cover for more shallow penetration of the lancet. People who have tougher skin or poor circulation choose a shorter cover for deeper penetration by the lancet. An individual may need to use different lancet covers for different fingers or when finger temperature affects blood flow.

Ease of resetting the lancet for the next use varies. Some products require the cover to be removed so that the lancet can be pushed back into position. Others have a simple push-pull mechanism that resets the spring. The latter may be preferable for children or people with coordination problems.

It’s a good idea to keep an automatic lancing device at each place you may test—at home, at work, at school—so you won’t have to carry one from place to place. Automatic lancing devices are inexpensive and last a long time, so owning more than one should be affordable. Remember that you should never share your automatic lancing device because of the small but real risk of transmitting disease by contaminated blood.

Discuss these considerations and others, such as lancet reuse and sterilization, with your health care

Things to remember when ordering

  • When requesting refills on diabetic supplies do not accept automatic shipments otherwise Medicare will not pay.
  • You’ll need a new prescription from your doctor for diabetic supplies every six months.

Where to get your Supplies

  • Pharmacy, hospital, or clinic.
  • Order them online from one of our recommended suppliers or other medical equipment suppliers.

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