How Do I Choose the Best Safety Lancet?

Malcolm Tatum

Safety lancets are tools that are used in the process of extracting a small blood sample for use with a blood glucose testing meter. Even as glucose meters have become more sophisticated and easy to use, these blood lancets have over time become less painful, making the process of diabetic testing less of a chore for those who need to check glucose readings once a day or even more frequently. When considering different safety lancet brands, there are several factors to consider, including design, ease of use, and the cost.

A lancet's tip should be protected before use.
A lancet's tip should be protected before use.

One of the more important aspects to consider when choosing the right safety lancet is the design of the product itself. Ideally, the sharp tip of the lancet should be sealed and protected prior to usage. This helps to minimize the potential of contamination, and makes piercing the skin with the tiny lancet less of a health hazard. Some of the brands on the market today feature a twist top that covers the lancet until time for use, while others have a cap that can be removed and then replaced after the blood is drawn for the test.

Lancets have become less painful in modern times.
Lancets have become less painful in modern times.

The size and shape of the sharp tip on the safety lancet is also worth noting. Simply put, some designs have a broader tip that may be somewhat more painful, while others have a tip that resembles the end of a very fine needle. Depending on the texture of the skin, a thinner tip may manage to draw the blood with ease while also keeping the pain at a minimum.

Ease of use is also important when choosing a safety lancet. Ideally, the user should find it a simple task to uncover the tip, hold the body of the device firmly, and pierce the skin on the first attempt. Lancets may have thin or rounded bodies of different lengths, making it easy to find one that fits well in the hand and is easy to prepare and grip during use, making the task of obtaining the blood sample a quick and simple task.

One final consideration with any safety lancet purchase is the cost. Less expensive lancets tend to be effective, but may also be somewhat more painful. While fine for occasional use, spending a little more for the lancets with a finer tip that causes less pain may be the best bet for diabetics who must test their blood sugar levels after each meal. Try more than one type of safety lancet and find the one that seems to offer the easiest level of function while also providing the least amount of discomfort. Even if the cost is slightly higher, the greater degree of comfort will justify that added expense.

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