Lancing & Lancets
I recently asked a number of questions by John about lancets. John wanted to know, “Why are Lancets not subsidised by the Government? Since the manufacturer’s instructions recommend that, you only each use a lancet once.” John noted, that this adds even further cost to managing his diabetes. John also had some further questions about the Accu-Chek Fastclix, wanting to know, “Can the …six lancets be taken out, when all six have been used…and then put in again”, to be used a further six times?
All manufacturers recommend that lancets only be used a single time, but this can be costly especially when testing more than once a day. Most diabetes educators will advise that a lancet can be used no more than 4 to 6 times, knowing that people often use them many more times. The problem with using a lancet too many times is that they become blunt with use and rather than prick the skin of the fingertip, as they become blunt the lancet starts to cut or tear through the skin, increasing the risk of scars or callouses. This often leads to less blood from the finger prick being available to test. A number people then increase the depth of the lancing device to compensate for the lack of blood produced, changing to a newer sharper lancet could be just as effective and less painful.
For the Accu-chek lancing devices, such as the FastClix and older Multi-Clix, that use a drum with 6 lancets, they cannot be reused once taken out of the device. But the lancets can be reused if the drum containing the lancets is not removed from the lancing device.
Diabetes NSW & ACT have been active supporters of lancets becoming subsidised and continue to do so. If you want to be involved, I would suggest contacting your local Member of Parliament, as the NDSS is administered by the Commonwealth Government, speaking up does make a difference.