SORE FINGERS – HOW TO PREVENT AND TREAT THEM
By Ann S Williams MSN RN CDE
Here is the URL for the whole article for your reading pleasure:
I found the whole article very helpful and relatable. Being a parent of a child that lives with type 1 and frequently tests his blood, the content resonated with me. I joke the dabs® were created because I had laundry that was covered in blood spots! All kidding aside and more importantly, watching my son wipe his finger with for all practical purposes was an open wound on an unclean surface was unsettling.
Ann Sullivan touches on several relevant aspects of poking your finger for blood glucose testing. Here are some of the highlights and why having dabs® incorporated in your testing routine is critical.
Preparing the site to make the blood flow better:
1. Do not use alcohol to clean your fingers before lancing. Regular use of alcohol to clean your fingers can dry the skin, making it more prone to painful cracking. Also, if you use alcohol, and do not let it dry completely before you lance, it stings. Furthermore, if the alcohol does not dry completely and it mixes with your blood, it can cause an inaccurate reading.
2. Before lancing a finger, wash carefully with warm soapy water. The finger you lance should be clean so the lancet doesn’t push in dirt or any other surface material. Any foreign material under the skin can hurt, and can cause an infection, which will hurt even more.
Using warm water to wash your hands will help by bringing more blood to the surface. This is especially helpful for people who tend to have cold hands.
Washing your hands is important for another reason that has nothing to do with sore fingers. If even a small amount of food is left on your fingers from your last meal or snack, for example, a bit of juice from a piece of fruit — it can dissolve in the blood drop and can artificially raise your blood glucose reading.
Stopping the flow of blood:
1. Apply pressure to the lanced site. If you start doing other things without stopping the flow of blood, you’ll have a small hole in your finger that could get infected. Furthermore, you risk getting blood drops where you don’t want them! Use a tissue or cotton ball to put pressure on the lanced spot for about 30 seconds, while holding the hand above the level of your heart, until your blood clots.
2. If necessary, cover the site with a small bandage. If you take coumadin or any other medication that thins your blood and prevents clotting, it may take a full minute or two to stop the bleeding. If you can’t take the time to wait until your blood clots, you might want to cover the lanced fingertip with a small bandage.
If you are looking for a clean, safe, CONVENIENT way to remove excess blood quickly and easily without stinging or drying out your fingers give Dabs® a try!
Lastly, I would like to reiterate the importance of checking your blood sugar levels on a regular basis for ideal management! Thank you Ann Sullivan and all the other CDE’s out there that make a difference in the diabetes community!