This week we’re going to learn how to use the lancing device and a blood glucose meter, but most importantly I’m going to teach you some really useful tips that everybody should know.
Lancing devices are used to obtain a sample of blood usually from the finger for our blood glucose meter, here’s the first tip:
Wash your hands with warm water and normal soap before you begin and make sure you dry them, warming your hands gives the puncture site better blood flow so it’s easier to collect a sample, rubbing your hands also helps with this. To load the lancing device it’s pretty simple you first twist this cap off then you get yourself a lancet that hasn’t been used, pop it in so the grooves are in line. Next twist this cap off and now the needle is visible, so please be careful, next get the cap and pop it back on, twist it on and it should click and that’s it.
Use a new lancet every time you use your lancing device, I know it’s time-consuming but remember this every time you use your lancet the needle becomes dull so, one, it’s going to hurt more and two, you’re at risk of a skin infection. Next is the depth indicator, it adjusts how deep the lancet tip will go into your finger, now this isn’t something that I can teach you on a video you’ll have to do it a couple of times to get the correct setting for yourself.
This is what we call the pad of the finger, it has more nerve endings compared to the side so for less pain when using this go for the sides and switch fingers regularly to prevent thickening of the skin, if you’re still in pain when you’re using this then speak to your healthcare professional about getting thinner lancets, lastly pull the sliding barrel back so it locks into place, the spring-loaded lancet that we fitted earlier place it on your skin firmly and click the button so it releases the lancet to puncture your skin for the blood sample. So often I see patients blood glucose meters and their control solution has never even been opened, if you’re not testing your machine or your test strips how can you be sure you’re getting the right readings?
Perform a control solution test each time you open a new vial of test strips or you feel like your meter isn’t working properly, let’s say it’s giving unexpected results or you may have dropped it or damaged it, I’ve left more information in the description below about this, so continuing on from our lancing device part, to test our blood glucose we need to get few things ready, we need a glucose monitor, it’s specific test strips that are in date a primed and ready to use, lancing device which we did earlier, a cotton wool pad, a yellow sharps bin and a monitoring diary so we can put our results in at the end. Next, remove a test strip from the vial and insert it into your blood glucose meter, it should switch on at this point and warm up and it will tell you when it’s ready for your blood sample. Now, place the lancet device firmly on the side of your finger, press the release button and remove the device from the puncture site, warming up your hands makes it easier to get blood without applying pressure, if necessary apply very light pressure to the surrounding area until a blood drop appears, now wipe away the first drop of blood with a clean cotton swab, with the second drop of blood be careful not to smear it, make sure your meter is ready and gently touch the blood drop with the test strip to collect a blood sample. The test strip will draw the blood towards itself, after a few seconds the meter will display your blood glucose level, write this down with any other information in the monitoring diary or update your electronic records.
Diabetic patients tend to build up a collection of different blood glucose meters over the years, it’s really important to only ever use one blood glucose meter to build up a trend of results, if you’re going to use different machines you’re going to end up with slightly different results and that’s not a good thing.
That’s how it’s done, one last thing before I go, make sure to remove your used test strips and lancet and put them in your yellow sharps bin, the safest way to remove your lancet is by placing the lancet cap on a hard surface and pushing the lancet needle into it now it’s no longer exposed and easy to remove. Let me know how you get on with my guide by leaving a comment below because I’d love to read it, thanks.