- advertisement -

Do you wash hands and alcohol swab?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by DavidN, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. hdm42

    hdm42 Approved members

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,297
    He washes his hands before every test. At night, I wipe his fingers with a baby wipe before testing him.

    We've never used alcohol for injections. If he's particularly sweaty or grungy, I'll swab him with a baby wipe.

    He has very dry and sensitive skin, and alcohol wipes irritate his skin.
     
  2. swellman

    swellman Approved members

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,543
    Son makes sure he washes hands after bathroom visits and eating or anything that dirties the hands but not immediately prior to testing if he knows they are clean. He's really good about that and I almost never have to remind him.

    We use alcohol swabs on the vial septum before every needle insertion and on the site when giving injections or applying the Pod or Dexcom.

    We almost never use alcohol on fingers prior to testing.
     
  3. rutgers1

    rutgers1 Approved members

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    320
    We are always reminding Matt to wash his hands before checking his blood sugar, but we are more lax about it during the day. If I am checking him in the night and get a high reading, I always wash his hands and test again. One time, I got a reading of about 350, washed his fingers, retested, and it was like 120. I don't even want to know what would have happened if I dosed him for the 350.

    If I am lazy and am testing him in the night, I squeeze out a drop of blood, wipe it off, and then test the next drop. I figure it is better than nothing.
     
  4. kiwikid

    kiwikid Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    3,011
    We're NOT good at washing before testing but I will send her to wash (or use a baby wipe) if I think the test is way off. We have never used alcohol..
     
  5. Ali

    Ali Approved members

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2006
    Messages:
    2,223
    I too do the blood squeeze twice if I am rechecking or wonder at all about cleanliness. If I am near water and get an odd reading or think my hands may have something on them I just run the finger under water or wipe with some bottled water or check way on the side of a finger I know has not been near food. I probably do the two drops of blood the most often. I never give large amounts of insulin without a double check. I am an adult so really have a good idea of what my hands have touched. Kids are much more problematic. For pump or CGMS sets I actually use soap and water or Hibiclens as I have been told alcohol swabs do not really do much. But I could have received poor info.:cwds:ali
     
  6. nanhsot

    nanhsot Approved members

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,626
    Ditto this. Thank goodness! Reading all the prior replies I was feeling a bit negligent.
     
  7. sugarmonkey

    sugarmonkey Approved members

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,713
    I try to get DS to wash his hands before testing, I know he doesn't always though. If the numbers off I'll make sure he does. We were never told to use alcohol for anything so never have.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
  8. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    12,521
    I suppose we've gotten pretty lazy - only use alcohol wipes for sensor insertion ( and that's new so we're very methodical about it still), sometimes for site insertion and never for bg checks, though in fairness she mostly checks on her forearms and they tend to be cleaner than fingers.;)
     
  9. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    13,157
    I generally use a wet paper towel to wipe his finger off before a BG check. But if one is not handy, sometimes we just check.

    The wet paper towel also makes an appearance for site and sensor changes. I don't know if we have any alcohol swabs in the house.
     
  10. Helenmomofsporty13yearold

    Helenmomofsporty13yearold Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Messages:
    702
    I guess I am the only one here still using alcohol wipes. Her fingers never dried out from it. Since becoming a teen, she only cleans her fingers off if she is positive there is food on them. She likes having the alcohol wipes in her kit as they are great for drying zits. She usually changes sites after a shower, but if she has to do one another time, she does not clean the area off unless she is really sweaty and dirty.
     
  11. Mimi

    Mimi Approved members

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,906
    During our training in hospital when dd was dx'd, we were taught to wash hands, alcohol wipe on vial and finger before test and at injection site. However, the nurse also told us "You'll never do all this at home." And we don't. :eek:

    I'd say at home she washes her hands about 80% of the time because we remind her. At school, I doubt she does unless she gets a very high number.

    Now that we are pumping/CGM-ing we do use alcohol wipes before site/sensor changes.

    We never treat a high number without a recheck...and the recheck always involves washing hands.
     
  12. TheFormerLantusFiend

    TheFormerLantusFiend Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    4,925
    I never use an alcohol swab- haven't used one since 2006.
    I usually wash my hands before testing bg, especially since I started using CGM (the first time, in 2008- once I realized that my numbers on the meter matched the Guardian better if my hands or feet were clean).
    For shots, I generally don't wash the skin.

    I had some discussion with my endo about this the last time I saw him and I am intending to start cleaning off the top of my vial with alcohol swabs sometime soon (somebody told me they were gonna give me some alcohol wipes, so I'm waiting on them).
     
  13. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    13,157
    What is the rationale for cleaning the top of the insulin vial? Isn't anything you insert in there sterile?
     
  14. TheFormerLantusFiend

    TheFormerLantusFiend Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    4,925
    The top of my Novolin R vial, between injections, is in my pocket, loose in my backpack, on the floor, touching my hands, and more. I've tried to keep it in the box it comes from but the box falls apart quickly.
    I didn't worry about it so much with a pen because it had a top.

    Things I insert into the vial are sterile (at least until they touch the vial); things touching the vial are not.
    I often notice that the top of my vial has stuff on it and I find it really really difficult to wash off.

    If I used an insulin pump and my insulin stayed home, I guess it wouldn't be an issue. But I do shots, and my insulin is with me almost all the time, 'cause I might need a shot anywhere.
     
  15. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    12,521
    Oh, that makes sense. I was thinking along the same lines as Hawkeyegirl ... thinking it was rather goofy to take the vial from the counter or fridge an swab it like it had been out all night in bad company:p I can't remember the last time I swabbed the vial but if you're on the go and it's tossing around loose in a bag then I can see why a swab isn't a bad idea.

    Jonah, maybe you need a tiny cosmetics bag to keep it in? They sell really small ones (in gender neutral colors) in CVS and Walgreens and Walmart - it must be a pain to have to search a book bag for a small vial of insulin.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  16. wilf

    wilf Approved members

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    9,652
    DD has a little, discreet black bag (the shape of a deck of cards but not as thick) which is big enough to hold pen vials of up to 4 insulins as well as a day's worth of syringes.. :cwds:
     
  17. tiger7lady

    tiger7lady Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Messages:
    344
    We used to be really good about the hand washing before every BG check...but after almost 3 years we've let that slide. If he gets a bizarre reading or if it's obvious something is on his finger then I will make him go wash his hands.

    As for site changes we always use an alcohol pad. I just don't want to risk an infection plus I feel it helps the site stick better. The alcohol not only gets rid of germs and dirt but normal oils in the skin. We've never had a problem with a site lasting 3 days and they stick through swimming and sweaty hot summers.
     
  18. smcnair

    smcnair Approved members

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    64
    We use a different type of wipe here that's made by diabete-ezy or soap and water, and that isn't every time either. Usually when we're out and not sure how clean our hands are. We were also told by more than one DE not to use alcohol swabs or disinfectant hand cleaners that contain alcohol because it can effect the reading.

    When changing pump we did use alcohol swabs in beginning but most of the time Thomas's gets changed after his bath. My skin is really sensitive so I don't use anything.
     
  19. liasmommy2000

    liasmommy2000 Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Messages:
    2,314
    We try and have dd wash her hands before checking but it isn't always possible. If not, she'll wipe her hands on her pants or whatever is available. If we're in the car I usually have a water bottle and she'll squeeze a bit out and wipe on pants etc.

    She's on the pump but when we do occasionally do a shot if we feel the sites bad or whatever we do not bother with alcohol. Honestly we don't even use it for site changes, we mostly use her stomach and it's covered by a shirt so shouldn't be really dirty. And we usually change after a bath/shower.

    ETA-we used to use alcohol swabs to clean her fingers but they got so crazy dry we had to stop. Plus I've heard they just move the dirt around. When I check at night I wet a rag or paper towel and wipe down her finger before I check. At school I'm sure she doesn't wash unless she feels a number is crazy high. No way is that happening lol. It used to in elem school because a) she had an aide that oversaw her care in the class and b) they had bathrooms and sinks in every classroom. Now in middle school, no way.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  20. mmgirls

    mmgirls Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Messages:
    6,030
    at school she washes her hands. she will wash at home or out and about if she has been playing outside and is going to eat something that involved the hands. Otherwise we keep a unscented wet wipe in a snack bag in her kit and just wipe and dry the site that we are goingt to check.

    We have been doing this since very early on, over six years now and it works very well for us.

    we pump and do not wipe the top of the vial that lives in a kitchen cupboard while in use.
     

Share This Page

- advertisement -

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice