Part of using a blood glucose meter for diabetes management is the actual process of drawing blood.

For many diabetic people this is one of the major downsides of having diabetes, along with the injection process for those who use insulin.

However, modern technology is making both of these unpleasant tasks less

How do I sample blood?

Diabetics generally use specially designed lancets and automatic lancing devices for the blood sampling stage of blood glucose monitoring.

These devices are sometimes included as part of a blood glucose monitoring kit, and aim to make this stage as painless as possible.

Are the lancets large needles?

Lancets are specifically designed to provide different degrees of skin penetration.

Adjustable covers allow people to choose how deep they need to go to draw blood.

For instance, a young child will only need very shallow penetration whereas an adult with poor circulation will need to go deeper.

What are automatic lancing devices?

Automatic lancing devices are designed for children, people who have problems with co-ordination or those who do not like the manual lancing process.

Automatic lancing devices are not particularly expensive and can save time.

What should I be aware of when using lancets?

Lancets are sharp and proper care and attention is necessary.

Diabetics should never share automatic lancing devices or lancets. You should discuss lancet hygiene, lancet reuse and sterilisation with your doctor, and take expert advice when choosing which type of lancet.

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