“Safety Lancets” Go Retail

[And now back to our regular programming... More on the Doug Burns case as soon as I get word]

Have you heard of “safety lancets”? No matter, if you’ve been ever been to see a doctor about your diabetes, I’m sure you’ve seen them. They are those little single-use lancets the nurses and lab techs employ — previously available only to the pros, and now going retail thanks to a company called MediPurpose.

They are touting their SurgiLance Safety Lancet as a “great alternative to pen lancets” because the needle is safely concealed before and after use –- so it’s completely hygienic and you never have to see or touch it. “Great for those with ‘needle phobia,’” they say. (I hated to remind them that so many of us still need the insulin INJECTIONS that follow the BG test, but what the hey?)Surgilance_2

MediPurpose is now offering six different needle/blade sizes that can easily be used by children and those with visual impairments. Supposedly perfect for kids is the new Yellow SLN100 model with a tiny 26-gauge needle.

“I have heard patients with diabetes tell me how they dread checking their glucose…and how sore their fingers get,” writes their Director of Marketing Laura Ball. “In addition, I have heard countless patients tell me they reuse their regular pen lancets over and over again (when ideally they should change the needle after every use), creating the potential for exposure to blood borne diseases and infections (HIV, Hepatitis B & C). I’ve even heard stories of children using the pen lancets as ‘swords,’ exposing them to needlestick injuries.”

I don’t know about sword games, but that thing about (almost) never changing out the lancet needle… ? Yeah.

So what’s the competition like?, I asked. It seems the Top 3 players here are Roche Safe-T Pro, BD’s Genie MicroTainer and MediPurpose with its SurgiLance – the first and currently only safety lancet available over the counter (OTC) at this time. You can buy them at Wal-Mart stores without a prescription, $12.44 for a box of 100.

I remember oogling some brightly colored safety lancets at the ADA Expo last year, thinking how easy and painless they looked. But I was told they were for “professional use only.” So I’m kind of glad to hear they’re on the market. Not dumping my regular pen lancet just yet, but it’s nice to have alternatives.


btw, MediPurpose would like you to know that they’ve donated 100% of the safety lancets being used this summer at the ADA Kids Camps (ca. 200,000 safety lancets).

More information on why you should like safety lancets is available at www.MediPurpose.com.


13 Responses

  1. Lancet Queen
    Lancet Queen May 30, 2007 at 7:26 am | | Reply

    “creating the potential for exposure to blood borne diseases and infections (HIV, Hepatitis B & C)”

    Oh come on – I think that is taking lancet germ fear-mongering a wee bit too far! I’ll stick (ha) with my lancing device for now, but I can see the appeal for little ones.

  2. Megan
    Megan May 30, 2007 at 8:02 am | | Reply

    I change my pen lancet needle MAYBE 3 or 4 times a year (!) and I’ve never had a problem with pain or infection. Maybe almost 30 years of fingersticks has something to do with it…However, I have to say, those safety lancets are REALLY cute.

  3. DianeAKelly
    DianeAKelly May 30, 2007 at 8:06 am | | Reply

    “creating the potential for exposure to blood borne diseases and infections (HIV, Hepatitis B & C)”

    Get real. As long as you don’t SHARE your lancet pen with anyone else, the chance of getting exposed to a blood-borne illness is practically nil.

  4. Bernard Farrell
    Bernard Farrell May 30, 2007 at 8:33 am | | Reply

    Hmm. 26 gauge seems a little ‘chunky’ to me these days. Both AgaMatrix and BD have lancets that are 33 gauge. I recommend these heartily to anyone testing children with diabetes.

    And I agree with Megan, I change whenever it gets hard to draw blood. Maybe every 6-8 weeks. And I’ve never had any infections.

    Though someone from the Red Cross did refuse to take blood from me because of needle reuse and the dangers of infection. Even after I told her that it wasn’t like I was sharing these with anyone but myself! Go figure.

  5. EmilyS
    EmilyS May 30, 2007 at 9:30 am | | Reply

    I can’t imagine having to carry multiples of those around with me. The real danger comes when someone else has to handle your sharps.

    I have been trying to be better about changing the lancets, and I probably do so every couple of days (As opposed to every couple of months). I went for my pump start a few weeks back and had to test in front of my CDE. Thinking I needed to pretend like I was the perfect patient, I made a little show out of changing my lancet. “You know, you don’t have to really do that every time. I wouldn’t, if I tested as much as you do.” I tried not to let the shock show on my face because she is kind of nit-picky about a lot of those little hygeine things. I am pretty sure that she meant that it was ok to reuse them a few times. So there you go, I have permission from my CDE to reuse my lancets!

  6. Jolene
    Jolene May 30, 2007 at 10:14 am | | Reply

    I test once a day, in the morning and change my lancet once a month. If for some reason my husband wants to check his sugar, he knows to remove the lancet and put it in my sharps container and leave it on the counter for me to refill. But please — I’m the only one using it, if I’m not infected with a blood born illness, I doubt I can give it to myself.

  7. Megan
    Megan May 30, 2007 at 10:34 am | | Reply

    I so don’t see this catching. 26 gauge isn’t tiny, and that’s their smallest size? Not to mention many of us WANT to reuse our lancets! And then there’s the cost issue. $13 for 100 is much more than average.

  8. aaron
    aaron May 30, 2007 at 12:17 pm | | Reply

    Can you imagine throwing 3-10 of those away per day? For my purposes it seems like a very wasteful way of doing things.

  9. Challenge Diabetes
    Challenge Diabetes May 30, 2007 at 1:45 pm | | Reply

    Lancing can be nearly pain-free or painful

    Tiny needle equals a nearly painless blood sugar check. Lets clarify what counts as a tiny needle. Last time I checked, 26-gauge was for calloused farm hands. Kids prefer a 33 -gauge or at most 31-gauge. Size is inversely related to the gaug…

  10. Felix Kasza
    Felix Kasza May 30, 2007 at 4:22 pm | | Reply

    I agree with Bernard’s earlier comment — a 26ga needle? Why not just poke the poor kid with a lamp post?

    I have used the 26ga single-use lancet (twice — they used to come with the home HbA1c tests), and their only redeeming feature is that there is no danger of too small a blood drop. Quite the opposite, you get enough to make a starving vampire happy.


  11. AmyT
    AmyT May 30, 2007 at 6:30 pm | | Reply

    OK, People: message received. 26g is not tiny enough.

  12. jef
    jef May 31, 2007 at 11:18 pm | | Reply

    Do people really complain about testing after the first month? Seriously, I haven’t had any problems with pain since the first few weeks of being diagnosed.

    Changing EVERY test just seems wasteful to me. I’ve done it for more than 10yrs and have yet to get an infection.

  13. GA DiabeticType 2 / Parent of a Type 1
    GA DiabeticType 2 / Parent of a Type 1 June 4, 2007 at 4:24 pm | | Reply

    Wow. I just can’t help but wonder how some people think sometimes. I am a medical professional, a phlebotomist by trade. First, if it was not that important to be careful in our use of any blood letting device, why has the medical community totally embraced the use of safety measures for such? When is the last time you went to the doctor’s office or hospital and they did not use safety devices and dispose of them in “Sharps” containers? Why do they sell Sharps containers at retail or tell you to use an empty milk carton at home to properly dispose of your needles as soon as you are finished with them? Maybe for safety? Do you think?
    If you have kids in the house, do you leave the lancet pen unattended at any time? Can they get a hold of it and pull it apart and accidentally get stuck by the needle? Ouch!
    Kids are naturally curious.
    Ok, so you say no kids…well, do you buckle up because it is the law or do you think about safety? Let me ask you this, do you use your fork to eat, lick it as clean as you can and then just leave it somewhere to use again over and over? Why not? Think about that.

    One more thought…do you take your 31 or 33 gauge pen lancet and dial up the depth you need or find you need? Do you find that you are having to increase the dial little by little as you use this one lancet over and over, to get the amount of blood you need? Do you think this might be because it is getting more dull each time and it has a harder time penetrating? Common sense tells us that if something has to go deeper, it is going to hurt more. By the way, this also increases the pain (dull needle?). Do yourself a favor, if you are not going to use a safety lancet, at least change your needle each time, “like the manufactures state on their package”. Have you read that somewhere? Do you wonder why they say that? Oh yes, they want to sell more lancets. Come on!

    You know, there are some of you out there that just defy progress, defy common sense under any circumstances and you can rationalize just about anything. You are the ones that are probably still smoking or not using your seat belts even though statistics tell us we should. Just remember, the statistics show that most accidents of any kind occur within the home or not far from it. I for one heed the creed that an ounce of prevention… and in this case, being smart about things we can control and prevent, will pay off in the end.

    One type 2 diabetic.

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