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Loaded lancet devices for everyone!

·2402 words·12 mins

When people bring in their blood glucose monitor to me for help (which I don’t mind really, as long as it was filled here and not Liberty Medical (fuck you)) there are a few things that are consistent as the sun rising in the morning and white bread/Velveeta cheese at a redneck BBQ.

  • The machine, strip container, lancet device, everything will be smeared in blood
  • The lancet device will have a loaded, used lancet in there cocked and ready to stick yourself with

Lets look at point one first:  Why can’t people keep their fucking blood glucose machine half-way clean?  Most machines I see look like they have been used to cave someones head in, or was used as a tampon.  Dried blood all over the place, on the buttons, on the screen, everywhere!  I have seen less blood at a murder scene than on some of these machines.  Am I the only person who finds this utterly disgusting?  Let me shit all over something and have YOU deal with it.

This brings me to my second point: People love to have a loaded lancet device there waiting for you.  It never fails, I look at a machine, and I pop the top off of their lancet device to see if its working to find a used lancet needle staring me straight in the face.  Why can’t people use a lancet once, safely recap it, and throw it in a fucking sharps container?  How hard is that?  We give them the fucking sharps container for free!  Now fortunately both myself and the other pharmacists treat a lancet device like a loaded gun and stay safely away from the business end, but seriously, if its going to go off, have it be a loaded gun so it can just end my life quickly vs me having HIV or Hep C by some ghetto dirty ass whore who couldn’t take the two seconds to properly dispose of her used lancet.  The last thing I need it so accidentally stick myself and have to miss work because I’m out having every test to man done.  I can just see the Work Comp bill for that little fiasco.

So please, if you are one of those type-2 diabetics who test 30 times a day just to waste money, please make my life a bit easier and use a bit of common sense (HAHAHA) and unload your lancet device before you bring it in.  My safety and general sanity really do depend on it.

Comments #

Comment by pharmacy chick on 2008-04-15 21:30:33 -0700 #

True Story:
Lady came in and wanted to buy a replacement lancet device. It was broken. It belonged to her husband, who had died….10 years ago. She owned one lancet device and one lancet. Since they were both diabetic, they shared equipment, including the single lancing device and the singular lancet.
Gross gross Gross!

Comment by indietech on 2008-04-15 22:46:43 -0700 #

i am proud to say that my monitor is spick and span!
also, i don’t understand why there is a need to bring in the whole kit and caboodle. just write down what kind of meter and lancing device you have. or bring in the box the test strips came in, instead of the blood covered vial.
during my first week of working at a pharmacy, i had a woman bring in a syringe to me, needle still attached, with blood all over it, wanting a refill. that’s when i knew i found my life’s calling and was so glad that i spent a year of my life in training to risk getting HIV or who knows what other diseases.

Comment by Anya on 2008-04-16 02:19:58 -0700 #

Jesus wept. I’d say you should send those assholes the bills for your medical care, when you get stuck with a sharp, but they probably don’t have any assets, unless you want a bunch of collectible plates and NASCAR junk.

Comment by GC on 2008-04-16 05:20:33 -0700 #

haha I agree with you 100% on this TAP. I dont know what it is but people love bringing in nasty lancets as well as other things. Nothing like bringing in a tube of vaginal cream for a refill with questionable hairs all over it…or better yet blood on the prescription bottles (how it gets there is beyond me…)

Comment by susan on 2008-04-16 06:35:53 -0700 #

This blog entry was one of your funniest..yet so true.

Comment by Kathy on 2008-04-16 07:13:29 -0700 #

SO true! I hate touching those things. They are always smeary with brown and fresher red yuck. Empty Proctocream tubes are always a pleasure, too, I can just imagine where the hands have been that were holding it at different points in its sad asshole life. Everybody better just clear the way for me as I run to the bathroom to wash!

Comment by dimndgal on 2008-04-16 07:21:07 -0700 #

I am so relieved that this doesn’t ONLY happen to me with my crazy patients!!! I can’t tell you how disgusting it is. I actually had to put on gloves to assist one patient. His glucose meter still had fresh (undried) blood and his finger was dripping as well. Did he do it while walking back to the pharmacy??? Just to make sure it still wasn’t working?? God only knows!!!!

Comment by The Ole’ Apothecary on 2008-04-16 08:41:08 -0700 #

TAP, ask them, what part of “bloodborne infection” don’t you understand? Then, REFUSE to touch anyone’s machine until they bring it back to you clean!

Comment by JoRphT on 2008-04-16 09:35:35 -0700 #

My personal favorite was the obnoxious old lady who brought in her ER capsule, that went in and out of her system, in a plastic bag. She threw it onto my counter, said she paid way too much for this not to work. She also couldn’t decide if she should swallow it over again.
Also, I don’t get anywhere near to old tubes of ANYTHING… most of the time it will be premarin or terconazole. Please read me the script number, give me your last name, and dispose of it yourself.

Comment by on 2008-04-16 11:49:01 -0700 #

Hey! How can I email you a funny story for you to post. It has to do w/ a pharmacy school doing something sorta stupid recently. Thanks, keep up the good work!!

Comment by snyffee on 2008-04-16 17:37:09 -0700 #

Another true story. (This one combines retards and blood). So, yesterday I was trying to fill a script for the Solostar and I got the Ye Ole refill to soon message from the insurance. My tech turns to me and says “Oh, that’s the guy that was using the insulin pen without the needles” Yeah, somehow this retardo was cutting himself to inject the insulin. He went thru 75 days worth of Lantus in 30 days because he was using it without the pen needles. No, really, I am not joking. I called his doctor and she was like “what the fuck?”. Anyway as I am putting the hold sticker on the Rx, I turned it over and there was blood all over it. Are you fucking kidding me? What is wrong with these people? As if the sticky tube of cookie cream wasn’t bad enough, now they have to go and bleed on me.

Comment by Christine on 2008-04-16 19:28:07 -0700 #

My apollogies, but my lancet has been there forever. But in my favor, my meter isn’t bloody. And I have those neato Multiclix lancets with no sharp exposed. Even before those I had enough common sense to take the sharp out if someone was gonna be handling my meter besides me. And I’m one of those assholes that gets my stuff from Libtery too. $17 co-pay, versus $75. Sorry! But retail pharmacy is still #1 for insulin. Then I actually get cool insulin instead of some commentary on how they didn’t realize it got hot in July but they can have me new insulin in 5 weeks. I’ve never had to ask my pharmacist how to use a meter though.
That’s frustrating though- people need some common sense. I don’t think I have enough patience to be a pharmacist.

Comment by TheDruggist on 2008-04-16 22:57:21 -0700 #

Funny too how these people only come in when you’re getting slammed with prescriptions to fill. I hate the dreaded “This customer has a question about their glucose machine”, you know you’ll be stuck with them for 30 minutes at least. Don’t even start with the strip code stuff. Almost as bad as the elderly that have questions on blood pressure machines…”where does the cuff part go????”

Comment by Sarah on 2008-04-17 06:13:34 -0700 #

I’m a diabetic for 16 years now, and I must admit I change my lancet perhaps twice a year. I am not going to bother to defend myself, as I have attempted many times to no avail. I, however, have never asked a pharmacist to help me with my glucometer (they aren’t exactly rocket science.)

Comment by GingerB on 2008-04-17 11:19:49 -0700 #

Hubbie had to give himself nupogen shots.
He came home with two pages of instructions about how to dispose of the needles into an old laundry detergent bottle, how to mark it, how to dispose of it so it wouldn’t get recycled….Nothing about how to get the drug out of the little vial into the syringe.
That stuff is expensive. I about had a nervous breakdown watching him try to do it.
It was like they cared more about throwing it all out than him actually getting the drug.

Comment by chemoqueenrph on 2008-04-17 17:01:08 -0700 #

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
I feel icked out IDing that plastic grocery sack full of pt’s own meds that they bring into the hospital. I have seen grimy old labels that are years old. One lady’s family even brought in a vial that was clearly labeled for her cat!! I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t even want to stick my hand in that sack without gloves on.
I won’t feel so bad now. I am clearly living in the land of milk & cookies.
Of course then there was the time we had pt’s family member bring in a full sized paper grocery sack full of meds that she thought we might be able to give to someone else that couldn’t afford them, because the pt had RHC’d. Joy. We’re talking half bottles of old crusty Betadine. Half used tubes of topicals.
I get to spend 30 minutes going through it to make sure the stuff that had their name on it went into a HIPPA approved trash receptacle. aka The Needle Bucket. Couldn’t leave that crap laying around waiting for Steri Cycle. The rest filled up my office sized trash can. I hope the cleaning staff didn’t go through it hunting for treasure.

Comment by AM on 2008-04-17 21:02:30 -0700 #

Your customers sound like those people who describe their surgeries in graphic detail over dinner? It’s got to be a fetish.
I hope you yell at them for making you touch their grody meters.

Comment by nobody on 2008-04-18 04:18:13 -0700 #

I think Pete Doherty did it best when he splattered his own blood on paper, framed it, and gave a show. Maybe you can collect these bloody instruments and have an art show to raise awareness about the hazards you face on the job.

Comment by MIdwest Pharmergirl on 2008-04-18 08:18:50 -0700 #

Whoa!! This has been pretty grim reading.
And, I thought I was just feeling a little confused about why and how I contracted HCV when working in institutional pharmacy was my ONLY risk factor!
Rubber or vinyl gloves in all the retail shops, from now on at the drop-off window. I thought maybe the dried blood was from those frightful bloody noses that people with Alzheimer’s get from picking their noses, but this plethora of pharmacy tales makes me think there are a lot more of people out there who don’t understand (as the Ole Apothecary mentions) universal precautions and bloodborne pathogens. Makes those folks who cover their faces with masks in flu season seem pretty respectful of their fellow citizen, eh?

Comment by Heather on 2008-04-21 18:15:09 -0700 #

Okay, I was going to comment about what I read in the blog….but after reading the comments I feel light-headed.
I don’t even know what to say about the “not changing the lancet” after each use….Honestly, why would ANYONE think it’s okay to RE-USE something like that?? (And BTW, I have to keep track of my blood sugar, so I am a glucose meter user. I am well aware of the cost of supplies.)
Ugh!! Dirty pill bottles, sticky tubes, crusty lids, strange substances, odd textures….All these images from the past 9 years are flooding my memory at once! Help!!

Comment by Educated Diabetic on 2008-04-26 17:59:08 -0700 #

This post was moronic. Learn more about management of this disease, or else don’t post on subjects above your therapeutic knowledge level. This is why most doctors think of you pill-counters as one promotion away from the photo department at CVS.

Comment by Mick on 2008-04-28 02:33:10 -0700 #

In case you haven’t seen it, the British Medical Journal has a new trial on the usefulness of blood glucose testing in type II diabetes…Article rekons it’s not that useful. :).

Comment by Dave RPh, CDE on 2008-05-08 16:14:38 -0700 #

I would disregard that BMJ article. In our endocrine clinic, we encourage our T2DM patients to test there BGs so they can see how food and activity can affect their readings. I think the BMJ’s point is, what can the patient do with their medications if the BGs are not at target. As we all know, if a T2DM patient lives long enough, they WILL be on insulin. Get them involved in their diabetes care early and decrease the risk of complications later.