08 Sep FDA/CDC Shared Fingerstick Infection Warning: Not a Risk With Our Lancets and Heel Incision Devices
In response to growing concerns about transmitting hepatitis B virus (HBV) and other bloodborne pathogens during fingerstick procedures for blood sampling, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have identified shared and reusable fingerstick devices as a possible cause. This is due to an increase in diabetic care HBV infections, especially in settings such as long-term care facilities (LTC) where frequent assisted blood glucose monitoring is performed.
The Differences Between Reusable and Single-Use/Disposable Fingersticks
In an alert issued on August 26, 2010, the FDA and CDC emphasized that “fingerstick devices should NEVER be used for more than one person.”
The FDA and CDC further recommended: “Auto-disabling, single-use fingerstick devices should be used for assisted monitoring of blood glucose. These devices are designed to be used only once, after which the blade is retracted, capped or otherwise made unusable. These may also be called ‘safety’ lancets.”
All MediPurpose fingerstick devices are single-use and disposable. Of course, this includes our SurgiLance™ safety lancet. We have seen reports of HBV infections due to the use of regular pen-activated lancets dating as far back as 2002. That is why MediPurpose has sold almost a billion lancets since 2000, most of them in the alternate care market.
A simple decision to switch to a safer and more convenient fingerstick device instantly eliminates one of the root causes of HBV infections in long-term care facilities. And as recently commented at the Nursing Home Reality blog, if you look at the cost of managing needlestick accidents and infections through sharing, the decision is a highly economical one, too.