Types of Lancets

After being first diagnosed with diabetes, there can often be a range of emotions.  How could I have prevented this? What will my life be like? What will my friends think?  I HATE needles – how am I supposed to poke myself on a daily basis?

All of these questions are compounding on top of the already overwhelming concept of all these different supplies and costs and how to manage all of this. Your endocrinologist and your Diabetes Educator will explain much of these products as they all have their preferences – but what often gets overlooked is the lancet – the ONLY product in the kit that has the potential to cause physical pain!

Different Types of Lancets

There are hundreds of different “brands” of lancets, but at the end of the day they all boil down to practically two varieties – Traditional Lancets vs Pip Lancets. In this article, we explore the differences and pros and cons of the two types.

                                                            

Traditional Lancets

First, let’s look at the most common type of lancet that is available on the market today and what is presented 99% of the time in meeting with Certified Diabetes Educators.

                                       What is a traditional lancet? 

Traditional lancets are what we commonly think of when we hear the term “Lancet”.  Other common names are “pokers”, “needles”, or “lancers”. Quite simply, they are a molded piece of plastic with a round cap.Underneath the round cap is a needle.  To expose the needle, simply twist off the round plastic cap. 

                                                    How it works

A traditional diabetes lancet can be used entirely on it’s own by simply jabbing the needle into your finger just enough to get a blood drop, but doing so can be quite painful.  Therefore, the overwhelming majority of people prefer to use lancets in conjunction with a “lancing device” or a “lancer”. 

                                            

             How To Use Lancets with a lancing device are as follows:

  1.       Open the cap of the lancing device
  2.       Load in the unused lancet
  3.       Twist off the round cap to expose the needle
  4.       Recap the lancing device
  5.       Adjust the depth setting – this will specify the puncture depth into your skin
  6.       Cock the device
  7.       Place the lancing device on your finger
  8.       Click the button to fire the lancet
  9.       Gently squeeze fingertip to produce adequate blood sample.  Then follow glucose meter instructions to test your blood sugar.
  10.   After use, remove the lancing device cap again.
  11.   Recap the lancet with the round cap.
  12.   Carefully remove the used lancet from the lancing device and place in a sharps container or hard plastic container – like a laundry detergent bottle.

  Compatibility

Most traditional lancets are generic in design and therefore are compatible with a wide variety of lancing devices.  But some brands of lancets are only compatible with their own lancing device. A few examples of the latter are: Softclix lancets, Multiclix, etc.

Practically all regular lancets are compatible with any type of glucose meter.

Where to purchase

Traditional lancets are widely available over the counter at your local pharmacy or online.  The costs vary widely across the board. From very inexpensive to quite costly. 

The primary benefit to traditional lancets is cost. If you use a clean lancet on each test and you shop around a little bit, you’ll probably be able to find lancets for about $0.05 each – or $5 per 100 lancets – which comes out to about $3 per month if you test an average of twice per day.  However, if you like to reuse your needles, then you can use regular lancets practically for free – a $5 box of 100 could potentially last you the rest of your life. 

Pip Lancets

The other option which is commonly not mentioned in meetings with your diabetes educator, are Pip Lancets.  Pip is a hospital-grade product which has historically only been provided in hospitals but is now available to anyone.

What is a Pip Lancet?

Pip Lancets are a single-use, 2-in-1 device that eliminate 80% of the steps associated with traditional lancets, provide for safer disposal, and typically eliminate the pain and anxiety associated with regular lancets.

Pip Lancets feature a body, with a twist off cap, and a pre-loaded – but never exposed – needle on the interior of the device.  

How it works

While traditional diabetic lancets require the use of an additional “lancing device”, Pip lancets are 2-in-1.  So there is no additional device needed.

The steps to use Pip lancets are as follows:

  1.       Twist off the white cap
  2.       Apply pressure to the fingertip to activate the needle
  3.       Gently squeeze fingertip to produce adequate blood sample. Then  follow glucose meter instructions to test your blood sugar.
  4.       Discard of used lancet – after use the needle is not exposed, but we still recommend a sharps container or plastic container for good measure.

How It Works

Compatibility

Like regular diabetes lancets, Pip Lancets are compatible with ALL glucose meters. 

Because the device is all-in-one, the user need not worry about compatibility with other lancing devices.

                                               Where to purchase                                                  

https://piplancets.com/pages/get-started 

Pip Lancets are available for purchase at PipLancets.com or from Amazon.com.  When purchased from PipLancets.com – you will receive a significantly discounted Starter Pack which will include some of each size and a carry case – all for just $3.

                                

Pip Lancets are not currently available in retail pharmacies because it is a relatively new product. We hope to change this in the future! 

Cost

Pip Lancets are priced at $0.15 per lancet sold at a price of $15 per 100 lancets – or $9 per month if you test an average of twice per day – about $6 more per month than regular lancets. 

Summary

Being newly diagnosed with diabetes and having to learn all the ins and outs of all the different products that are required and/or available can be overwhelming.  But when it comes to lancet choices, the options are fairly simple. It’s up to you to determine which option best fits your lifestyle and that is easiest for you.