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How often do you change your needles/lancets?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Margi, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. Margi

    Margi · Well-Known Member

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    I'm just curious. I'm really naughty and only change my needles if they accidentally touch something other than me when I put them in, or when they start to go 'ouch' and/or bruise.

    I just wonder how often other people change them. Are you all good and change every injection? Or otherwise how often?

    Lancets too. I never remember to change mine unless it stops making a hole in me. I guess I don't cost the NHS quite so much that way, and I've never had an infection or anything in thirty-six years. :wink:
     
  2. Wendywu

    Wendywu · Active Member

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    I change needle every injection, but lancets when the drum of strips runs out. There are 17 in a drum - it's an Accuchek Compact Plus and the finger pricker is less much painful than my previous effort which I didn't like at all.
     
  3. ClaireG 06

    ClaireG 06 · Well-Known Member

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    Only started insulin on Tuesday but am using a new needle for each injection. I don't change the lancet for every finger prick, i change it when i feel it's not working as well. This works out at something like every 5-7 days.
     
  4. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
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    I too don't change my lancet every time. I change it when it either hurts or doesn't seem to produce blood very well. No-one else ever uses it - I am very careful about that and always give a new one to the other person and change it afterwards. I don't feel I need to be economical with them as they are very cheap. I don't inject.
     
  5. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Change mine every-time I inject or test, be the first to admit that this wasn't always the case but when I started on insulin using the glass syringes you were encouraged to re-use the needles until they were blunt......thank goodness times have changed! :)

    Nigel
     
  6. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    No needles but I change my lancets when they start leaving little marks - so not very often! :oops:

    There's only me, so no danger to anyone else in the household.

    Viv 8)
     
  7. frenchkittie

    frenchkittie · Well-Known Member

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    I use my needles once, and once only, but can't remember the last time I changed my lancet (probably when I noticed that it wasn't working well :oops:
     
  8. imalittlefishy

    imalittlefishy · Well-Known Member

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    I theoretically only use needles once...but am very bad at remembering to check that I've got clean ones when I go out anywhere, so often end up using the old ones that are still in my insulin case...lancets I tend to change about once a week, which is anywhere from 15-40 tests xx
     
  9. Margi

    Margi · Well-Known Member

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    Crumbs! Am I the only one who doesn't change all the time? I'm going to start feeling guilty now. Mind, I might be able to use it as an excuse to get regular supplies of Accucheck mobile test strips. My GP will do it, but they really don't want to because they are more expensive than my usual One Touch ultra ones. After all, less needles, more test strips? 8)
     
  10. jopar

    jopar · Well-Known Member

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    It's slightly different for me now as I use a pump so only need to change infusion sets every 3 days.

    But when I used insulin pens I used to change either at the end of the cartridge or if necessary, due to blunting etc, I was the same with my syringes either changed them after about 5/6 injections unless I needed to due to blunting them (normal when you put the cover back on)...

    Lancets I change when I remember mostly or if it hurts upon stabing!

    Been doing it this was for over 20 years, and so far no infections..
     
  11. Dragonflye

    Dragonflye Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    When I was on MDI i changed the needle every time I started a new pen/cartridge... lancets... erm... ;) rarely...

    Im better than my dad... he used to use about 1 needle for every 2 or 3 months (4 injections a day) until he can no longer force it in and i dont think he's ever changed his lancets (although he does his bm 1ce every blue moon)
     
  12. HLW

    HLW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I only use needles and lancets once, I can't see why anyone would want to reuse them really.
     
  13. iHs

    iHs · Well-Known Member

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    :lol:

    Although I now use a pump, when I used MDI and biphasic insulin, I did exactly the same as Jopar and Dragonfly. I too haven't had an infection.
     
  14. Pneu

    Pneu · Well-Known Member

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    I am pretty bad at changing... needles on the pen tends to be when I change the cartridge and lancet I can't remember the last time (and I test around 8 - 10 times a day).... that said touch wood no infections yet after 12+ years of being diabetic
     
  15. ebony321

    ebony321 · Well-Known Member

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    This was discussed before and someone posted a close up of a needle after it's been used once, that was enough for me to NEVER ever ever ever re-use a needle. Nevermind the thought of the needle breaking off in your skin!

    No infection or not with people, nobody should ever re-use a needle for injecting. If your regularly injecting then your skin is tender enough with multiple jabs never mind using a dirty needle. Sorry but that's basically what it is if your re-using it as it is no longer sterile.

    I would rather eat something off the floor than re-use a needle.

    I use a pump now and change the set every two days, i wouldn't re-use a set either.

    I also change the lancet everytime i test, i have an accu-chek one that uses a six lancet drum, so it's easy to turn it round after you've used it so next time you get a fresh one. I've proabably forgotten a few times in the past to change it though!
     
  16. AndyS

    AndyS Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Needles every shot, lancets when they start to hurt a bit.
     
  17. jopar

    jopar · Well-Known Member

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    Even with saying that it's still your choice to whether you decide to change every time you inject or take a BG..

    But you need to put a perspective on it..

    Now reusing my needles/lancets is something I have been informed to do by my HCP's from the day I was Dx'd upto 5 times for syringes/needles using common sense that if by chance I had accident;y contamminated them by getting them in contact with something other than my body, or I've blunted them by catching the needle why putting the cap back on them etc.. Then change eariler..

    I can remember a time when every injection you did you had to swap the area with surigal spirit/alcohol to ensure hygiene, this was until it was discovered that doing so caused more harm then good, most of the infections seen was due to the surigal spirit/alcohol swap drying the skin, causing fine lisions allowing germs to enter the body not the puncture wound left by the needle (and that was in the days of the larger needles than we use today)

    Before disposable syringes being introduced in the early 80's the old needles for the glass syringe weren't only reused but they could also be resharpened :shock: These were sterlized between use with surgical spirit or an alcohol..

    But in reality our HCP's wouldn't tell use or allow us to reuse if there was any real risks involved, they don't want to be sued!

    Just imagine the cost involved if we all inforced to change, bang goes the test strips for T2's, and the bolus/basal regime and back to the old days of 2 injections a day, and infrequent blood testing!
     
  18. ebony321

    ebony321 · Well-Known Member

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    It's up to the person if they want to re-use a needle, i was posting my opinion and my belief that needles shouldnt be re-used, it may have been done differently in the past and maybe be different in the future, but right now the needles that are in use it is recommended that you only use them once, and for what i believe is a very good reason.

    People who have to inject will probably do so for a very long time, i personally want to preserve what i have by maintaining the equipment i use and making sure i am doing what is recommended.

    I don't think costs are as much an issue as health is.

    I doubt you can really say if all people who inject were to change needles everytime that budgets would be cut due to an increase in costs so much that Type 2's would be subject to strips being withdrawn from prescriptions to compensate.

    Personally my fingers can become sore sometimes due to testing, because sometimes i can be testing 8+ times a day so i prefer to change my lancet everytime i test.

    I don't really see why your attacking each section of my post, it's my opinion that you shouldn't re-use needles and my opinion why, i didn't personalize my post to anybody it was my general opinion on the subject.

    i don't need to put perspective on anything. I don't want to risk infection, if people have re-used and not gotten infected then that's fine, but it happens and it's something i don't want to risk.

    No medical professional has ever said/encouraged/accepted that re-using needles is acceptable. By manufacturers recommendation it's that they are once use only.

    I've seen pictures and read stories about what was used, including re-sharpening needles and alsorts of odd things about sterilization. I'm lucky i guess that i never had to experience that, I understand that re-using the needles we use now is probably better than resharpening a needle thats the size of your finger, but it doesn't mean i'm going to.

    As for the close up of fork, i shudder to think what a close up is like, but i have no other option that to use a fork (other than my hands i guess) but i do have a choice to use a sterilized needle.

    I'll end with saying i will never re-use a needle. unless of course it was life or death, come Zombie take over situation maybe :lol:

    I have worked since i was 13 years old and paid national insurance since i progressed from my weekly paper round!!, the only medical supplies i use on prescription is for diabetes. So i will continue to use lancets as one use because i believe that it's for the better of my health i really do not believe that my use of needles and lancets maybe 4/5/6 time more than someone who re-uses will result in anybody losing any sort of medication on prescription.
     
  19. jopar

    jopar · Well-Known Member

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    I did say it was your choice to do so..

    But you would be very surprised to the actual cost if everybody choose to follow policy of use once then dispose...

    I have to use my husband for this example as he still uses insulin pens..

    Now a box of 100 will last on adverage 10 months, which costs a region of £10 per box, now back last year they started to issue him the Auto cover needles, which automatically covers the needle after use.. Now he was going through almost 200 a month, they similar prices so for ease we say £10 per box..

    So this year he will have 2 box of his normal needles, costing the NHS £20

    If he stayed with the others this would have cost the NHS at £240

    So my husband alone has saved the NHS our pct, £220

    if you had 100 diabetc's doing the same, then this would be a saving of £22,000

    Just shows that if people weren't quite so wastefull, and looked after their pennies, as a whole there are huge savings to be made!
     
  20. ebony321

    ebony321 · Well-Known Member

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    I understand what your saying, the cost in difference is quite remarkable, but to me it's down to health, i just wouldn't want to risk infection or anything like that, despite the hefty cost difference.

    I could have stayed on MDI and not gone onto a pump, which also has a cost difference, but it was for the good of my health, it may be a dramatic comparision. but it's still on health and to me you can't really put a price on health, of course unless your called NHS and then it's a whole different ball game!
     
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