My fingers hate diabetes. Several times a day they get poked with a sharp, needle-like lancet. The drops of blood they give up tell me how my blood sugar roller coaster is doing. That’s really important information I need to determine whether to eat, exercise, or give myself some insulin.
It would be such a treat to check my blood sugar (glucose) without pricking a finger, squeezing out a drop of blood, and placing it on a small test strip attached to a meter. Help may be on the way—though I’m not expecting any big breakthroughs for another few years—as researchers across the country explore prick-free ways to measure blood sugar.
Here are three interesting approaches. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Harvard Health Blog*
All medical offices must dispose of medical waste in a safe manner. I closed my office at the end of September, but my last medical waste pickup is the first Friday of December. My dear husband is going to open the office and wait for them.
How have you told patients over the years to deal with their medical waste? Needles? Syringes? JP drains they pull out or that fall out before they get back for follow up?
Last week the FDA sent out a press release announcing the launch a new website for patients and caregivers on the safe disposal of needles and other so-called “sharps” that are used at home, at work and while traveling. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*
What I’ve learned in the last twenty-five years with type 1 diabetes:
- Some of what “they” said is wrong. It just is.
- There are times when “they” make a good point, and it’s up to us as patients to figure out what information we react to.
- The needles don’t hurt as much now as they did then. Lancets have become smaller and sharper, syringes can make the same claim. Insulin pump sites, once they’re in, usually go without being noticed. Same goes for Dexcom sensors. (But “painfree” is a misnomer and so subjective that medical device advertisers had best just steer clear of that word entirely. All needles pinch at least a little bit.)
- Progress isn’t always shown in tangible technological examples. Sometimes progress is being able to look at a blood sugar number without feeling judged by it. Or to look in the mirror without wishing you were different.
- There is life after diagnosis.
- Diabetes is sometimes funny. It has to be. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*
Thanks to Laura Landro for shining light on unsafe injections in her WSJ blog, “Unsafe Injection Practices Persist Despite Education Efforts.”
“A new push is underway to eliminate unsafe injection practices, which remain a persistent safety problem despite years of efforts to educate clinicians about the risks of re-using needles, syringes and drug vials.
In the U.S., failure to follow safe practices in delivering intravenous medications and injections has resulted in more than 30 outbreaks of infectious disease including hepatitis C, and the notification of more than 125,000 patients about potential exposure just in the last decade, according to health-care purchasing alliance Premier Inc.”
As a registered nurse this is unthinkable. Learning to administer injections safely is “patient care 101.” There is no excuse for any health care professional to unsafely inject patients.
Patients in the hospital, ambulatory surgical centers or outpatient settings, should expect that their nurses, doctors and other clinicians are administering injections safely. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Health in 30*
FDA researchers have published a study in Pediatrics that analyzed patient records from child and teen ER visits in 2004 and 2005. The investigators are reporting that 70,000 kids each year go to the ER because of issues caused by medical devices.
About a quarter of the injuries were from contact lenses, while the other major contributors were needles, wheelchairs, braces, and obstetric exam tools. The study also looked at the devices most likely to cause hospitalization, and they were found to be mostly invasive devices like ostomy appliances and implanted defibrillators. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*