Choosing the right lancing device is important for people with diabetes. Because multiple blood checks are part of daily diabetes management, ease of use and making the process as painless as possible are big considerations. Here are some pointers for choosing the lancing device that best fits your needs.
Types of lancing devices
There are two types of lancing devices: spring loaded and cam-driven.Spring-loaded
A spring-loaded device is pressed against the skin and released by pushing a button. The lancet, which is typically hidden, quickly pricks the finger for a small blood sample. The traditional lancing device is inexpensive (under $12) and most lancets will work in these models. Most blood glucose meters come with one of these traditional lancing devices or can be purchased at a local pharmacy. Here is a sampling of some of the spring-loaded devices.
Another type of spring-loaded lancing device is used for alternate site testing on other parts of the body. The areas most frequently used as alternative sites for blood samples are the palm, forearm and thigh. These lancing devices have a special cap that allows the skin of an area to be slightly pulled up by suction to ensure puncture of the skin. Some lancing devices double as a traditional and alternative testing device.Cam-driven
Another type of lancing device is cam-driven. Instead of a spring-loaded system it uses a rotating cam that has a number of lancets in a barrel. This system eliminates the need to replace the lancet after every use. You simply rotate the barrel to prepare the next, new sterile lancet. These devices are not designed for alternative site testing. Also, the lancets used in a cam-driven device cannot be used in a traditional spring-loaded device. Though they are more expensive (about $30) they last longer than the spring-loaded devices. Here is an example of a cam-driven device currently available.
Virtually all spring-loaded and cam-driven devices have adjustable depth settings to help customize the penetration of the lancet needle and minimize the pain.