If you’re living with diabetes, you know the importance of lancets for checking your blood glucose levels and making sure you’re in a safe range. But what do you do with your sharps when you’re done testing?
Learning how to dispose of diabetic lancets properly can help you protect yourself, your household, the community, and the environment. This article will discuss general guidelines for lancet and sharps disposal and answer frequently asked questions about diabetic lancet disposal.
How to Dispose of Diabetic Lancets: General Guidelines
Whether you’re at home, at work, or out running errands, diabetic lancets and other sharps should never be disposed of in the regular trash. General guidelines for diabetic lancet disposal and sharps container disposal are detailed below.
|How to Dispose of Diabetic Lancets and Sharps Containers|
|Disposing of Diabetic Lancets||The safest way to dispose of diabetic lancets is to immediately place them in an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container after use.|
|Tips and Tricks:
|Disposing of Sharps Disposal Containers||When your sharps container is almost full (~¾ full), dispose of your sharps disposal container according to your community guidelines.|
|Tips and Tricks:
How to Dispose of Diabetic Lancets: FAQ
Are there blood glucose monitors that don’t require sharps disposal?
Most blood glucose monitors (BGMs) and continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) contain components that require sharps disposal. For traditional BGMs, lancets used with a lancing device to prick your finger require sharps disposal. For CGMs, the sensors and insulin pump infusion sets typically require sharps disposal.
However, newer diabetes technologies, like automatic blood glucose monitors (ABGMs), often don’t require sharps disposal. With an ABGM like the POGO Automatic® Monitor, the lancets and test strips are integrated inside a cartridge, so the needle isn’t exposed. Check your local laws to see if an unexposed sharp still needs to be placed in a sharps container.
What makes an “FDA-cleared” sharps disposal container special?FDA-cleared sharps disposal containers are specifically designed to reduce the risk of injury and infection from sharps. They are:
- Made of heavy-duty plastic
- Leak-resistant and have a tight-fitting puncture-resistant lid
- Designed to sit upright and stable
- Labeled to indicate the presence of hazardous waste
Why is it necessary to dispose of diabetic lancets?
Learning how to dispose of diabetic lancets is so important for people living with diabetes. Diabetic lancets and other sharps can contain traces of pathogens, blood, and potentially infectious diseases. Improper disposal of sharps poses significant risk to yourself and your household, waste management personnel, the community, and the environment. Properly disposing of sharps reduces the risk of puncture and other cuts from loose sharps.
How do I dispose of sharps when I’m not at home and can’t access my usual sharps disposal container?
While some businesses and facilities provide sharps disposal containers, often in the restroom, secure containers for sharps aren’t always available when you’re out and about. You may consider getting an FDA-cleared travel-sized sharps disposal container to ensure you can safely dispose of your lancets and other sharps when you leave home.
Does health insurance cover sharps disposal containers?
Some health insurance companies cover FDA-cleared sharps disposal containers as “medical equipment.” If your insurance company doesn’t cover sharps disposal containers, or you don’t have access to an FDA-cleared container, many organizations recommend using an old laundry detergent or fabric softener bottle.
Robert Miller is a customer experience specialist committed to helping people navigate the world of diabetes. He focuses on finding innovative tools and strategies that make diabetes management easier to support long-term wellness.
All content on this website is for educational purposes only and does not replace the guidance of your healthcare practitioner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
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