Many people with diabetes have to take capillary blood glucose levels everyday via a finger pick sample. But how many pay heed to the technique of taking samples, or for many they may not realise there is a technique at all or even have been shown!!
If someone complains to me that taking a capillary blood glucose sample hurts them, it is usually from a number of issues.
- Firstly they may be reusing needles in their lancet, which even after 1-2 finger pick tests becomes blunt under a microscope. It would be like picking yourself with a barbed wire.
- Secondly this leaves a tell tale mark, black pin prick marks on the finger tips. This can also indicate the same site is being picked all the time, and it becomes more difficult over time to get blood from this area.
- I will ask people to take a sample in front of me and observe their technique. Because of new monitors and lancing devices, the same technique may not apply to all. This could be said particularly of the Accu Chek Mobile.
- When taking a sample take from the 3 fingers numbered below in the picture (Fig1) Take from the sides of the fingers rather than the tips, the reason being for both of these suggestions, is that you will feel the pick less as there is less nerve endings in these fingers and to the sides.
- Always rotate your fingers with every pick, and change the lancet with every pick.
- Other advice that should go without saying is always wash your hands before you take each sample as even something as simple as ink dye from a newspaper can affect readings. Wash with warm water to increase the blood flow as this will make it easier to obtain a sample rathering than squeezing the finger.
- All lancets now have a depth measure, so you can adjust this to a level that is comfortable for you to obtain blood. Check your lancet device to see what this is set to. Most adults with good technique sit comfortably at the mid way point.
Remember Diabetes Insight does not just tell you how, we show you how!
Diabetes Insight is Irelands only private independent advisory service and education centre dedicated and specializing solely in Diabetes Self Management Education (DSME). Its aim is to make a difference in the lives of those living daily with diabetes by providing quality education, advice, support and resources in a clear, simple, practical easy to understand manner without fear of judgement or blame. We respect and see each person with diabetes as an individual, with individual needs, so all our services are tailored to your specific needs.
All our services are designed and facilitated by Helena Farrell RGN, MSc Diabetes who has over 15 years experience working and studying in diabetes management. These services are unique, from cookery courses to one day courses and are not to be found in any other health service or provider within the Republic of Ireland.
Contact us today to see how we can help you and make a difference to you living with diabetes by ringing Helena on (086) 1739287 &/or email firstname.lastname@example.org. With services starting from as little as 20 euros, there is something to cater for every budget and need.
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