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Graphic Content Reusing lancets: a cautionary tale.

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by Pipp, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. Pipp

    Pipp Type 2 · Expert
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    It is an old chestnut, I know, and many of us reuse lancets, despite the advice to use a fresh one each time.
    I use the Accuchek fast click lancets, always wash hands first, so for the sake of economy have only changed the lancet daily. Therefore the same lancet is used 5 or 6 times then discarded.
    Three weeks ago I had a pine needle from someones old Christmas tree caught down the base of my fingernail. It hurt a lot after I pulled it out, didn't bleed much, but tore the cuticle. I thought nothing of it, and the following day chose that finger tip as the victim for the finger stabbing of the day. The following day I noticed some redness and tenderness around the fingernail. The day after yellow below the nail, and the day after that my finger tip was swollen with a collection of pus under the surface, and also some leaking from the edge of the finger nail. I also looked as if I was wearing a large red woolly glove.
    The diagnosis - paronychia, and felon. It certainly felt criminal! The treatment - several courses of antibiotics, minor (but painful) incision to drain pus, splint on finger, follow up referral to hand orthopaedic specialist as there is possibility of damage to the finger joint. I seem to have lost most of January to a plethora of sleepless nights pacing the floor in a medicated sorry state.
    The moral of the story, for me, is brand new sparklingly clean lancet every time. It is possible that the infection was introduced by that pesky pine needle, but I doubt the aggravation of same lancet repeatedly in same finger tip helped.

    I was going to include photographs, but can't hold the camera.
     
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  2. satindoll

    satindoll Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Awwwww.........poor you.......would give you a big hug if I could, hope a virtual one will do <<<<<BIG HUGS>>>>>:nurse:
     
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  3. Diakat

    Diakat Type 1 · Moderator
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    Off to change my lancet...
     
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  4. jpscloud

    jpscloud Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm a serial lancet re-user - the only time I change it is when someone else wants to use my meter! I should change them more often, and I will make that a promise to myself.
     
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  5. Groundgripper

    Groundgripper Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I put mine in boiling water and add a tiny bit of disinfectant.
    Then again on a silly note, get really frustrated at the number of times I cut my hands during the week on rough edges at work and of course just do not have my tester with me, such a waste of good chances to dip into my life streams flow, and see if I really did wake up in the morning or if it is just a fancy dream.
     
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  6. Pipp

    Pipp Type 2 · Expert
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    I think, even with the use of disinfectant and boiling water, each time the lancet is used it dulls the sharpness a bit, so causes a bigger puncture wound in fingertip, allowing easy access for bacteria.
     
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  7. Tipetoo

    Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

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    You cannot do that with Multiclix or Fastclix lancets as they lock up when you take the lancet drum out of the device. I dial in a new lancet with a new tub of strips with either of mine.

    Years ago to treat an infection under the finger nail was to use a red hot needle to pierce the nail to get at the pus underneath and relieve the pressure.
     
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  8. Pipp

    Pipp Type 2 · Expert
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    Indeed the fastclix do lock when removed from the device. Out of interest I dismantled one of the used drums. The amount of dried blood and gunk inside from the repeated use, in my case 6 times more than should be, was quite astounding. I have learnt my lesson.
    Oh and yes, my husband did offer to sterilise a drill bit and sort out the pressure under the nail, but I took the coward's way and let the doc do it in the supposedly sterile environment of the surgery with scalpel and currette. I will probably lose the fingernail. Just relieved to be keeping the fingertip.
     
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  9. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    Oooooh nasty @Pipp Have some hugs.

    I'm another serial user with my Fastclix device, but I have hundreds of spare drums so perhaps I should change my ways.
     
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  10. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Master

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    Perhaps you should I just took the hint and dialed in a new lancet I use the fastclix with all my meters.:angelic:
     
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  11. Pipp

    Pipp Type 2 · Expert
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  12. Tipetoo

    Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

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    I have one more to go in my Multiclix I will have look at it in a week. :D
     
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  13. Pipp

    Pipp Type 2 · Expert
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    Some folks just like to live dangerously . ;)
     
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  14. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    Glad you’re improving Pipp xx
    (The retired nurse in me was looking forward to the ‘Graphic Content’!)
     
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  15. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Master

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    I thought Graphic Content meant pics.

    I could take it I trained as a podiatrist don't yah know.
     
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  16. Pipp

    Pipp Type 2 · Expert
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    Sorry to disappoint, @Rachox and @JohnEGreen.
    I thought the verbal description could make folks visualise the horror that was my putrid finger. Anyone squeamish! Stop reading now,!!


    I was in no fit state to take photos before, as I had a temperature and headache, and all the other trappings of an infection. Sorry, there is not much horror to see now it has started to heal, and is covered with a dressing much of the time. I had my finger numbed, and the cuticle lifted, a bit of poking about and some pus and fluid emerged. Then the finger pad had a small incision, quite deep until I felt a satisfying pop. Then a bit of digging and squeezing. I guess JohnEGreen would have seen plenty of horrific toes. The finger, when the gunk was released felt so much better. The stuff that came out of it was smelly yellowish green goop and a fair bit of blood too. There is a vertical split up the nail, which I think could lift and separate the nail from the nail bed. The fingerpad is just a bit sore now. With a changed fingerprint. Luckily not my dominant hand. Still not an experience I would like to repeat though.
     
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  17. bangkokdiabetic

    bangkokdiabetic Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Whilst I appreciate this Cautionary tale and echo the good wishes about your suffering and hope you are progressing well, I wonder would your finger have become infected if you had chosen another finger or indeed another hand for your Blood Test.
    I use Fastclix and before that multi clix and change needle when I change my lantus pen I also use the needle on the lantus pen for the duration of the pen and have done for years. I have read many posts on here of people who do similar all with no side effects.
    I believe the change your needle each time of use is I the manufacturers following Legal advice to minimize the chance of legal action and of course
    the more time you change the more profit they make a good reason for the advice .
    COMMON SENSE Is my watchword (s) I believe it is more or as likely to be the Pine needle possible followed by the choice of that finger to prick next so I see no reason to change my routine just be aware of any changes or pain etc and use a diiferent finger each day (Not each time)`.but I do feel their is no reason for people o change to one a time
     
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  18. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Master

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    Don't want to sound argumentative but the problem with common sense is it it's neither common nor very often sensible it's conjecture.
     
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  19. Pipp

    Pipp Type 2 · Expert
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    Thank you for your kind wishes, @bangkokdiabetic . I agree with you that it was not wise to use the finger that had been slightly injured the previous day for the blood testing. The pine needle most likely introduced bacteria, and although there was no apparent infection the following day it must have been brewing. I think

    I told of my experience to alert others to the risks. People can make their own minds up as to whether or not they reuse lancets. It seems a 'which came first, chicken or egg?' situation. Pine needle or lancet, or even both could have been the cause, but the biggest collection of pus and swelling was in the finger pad. I know I will be paying particular attention to cleaning hands and using fresh lancets. I will also be avoiding Christmas trees. o_O
     
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  20. porl69

    porl69 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It never happened without pics :) :)

    Ouch......sending virtual ((((HUGS))))
    I use a fastclix and change the drum every day (sometimes twice) I hardly ever double use one pricker!!! (sounded better in my head!!)
     
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