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Is it absolutely necessary?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Mommyto4, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. Mommyto4

    Mommyto4 Approved members

    Mar 31, 2010
    The other thread got me thinking about the alcohol wipe thing. We sort of have a few bad habits going already. One of them being that we don't wipe off the finger when we test and we rarely wipe off the place where we are injecting (but we do wipe off the vile before we draw it up so at least we get some credit ;)). But I've been wondering if this is absolutely necessary. Usually Ava is screaming by the time she realizes what is going on, so I'm just trying to get everything over with as fast as possible. Our CDE told us it would be best if we did it but that it wouldn't be the end of the world if we forgot.
  2. Becky Stevens mom

    Becky Stevens mom Approved members

    Oct 14, 2008
    It is a good idea to wipe off the finger. Ive had some very high #s when Ive forgotten cause there was residue on the finger that showed up on the test. I have never wiped the area that Im injecting though as the needle is sterile and I just am careful not to touch it against anything.

    Im sorry Ava is having a hard time with the injections still. Have you ever poked yourself with a needle? I did that several times in front of Steven when he was first diagnosed. It seemed to help him to calm down a little. But yes I agree with you, best get it done quick, then a kiss and hug and engage in some conversation about the upcoming weekend or something fun going on at school, just to get her mind off of that little chore;)
  3. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Nov 15, 2007
    Alcohol wipes for finger pokes are definitely not necessary, but you probably want to clean the finger somehow. I generally just use a damp paper towel. Otherwise you risk a false high reading.
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Approved members

    Nov 20, 2007
    I think it is important to have clean fingers before testing, regardless of if you use an alcohol pad or soap and water. If there is food or other things on the fingers it can give you a false reading.

    As for cleaning the area of the injection, I also think that is important. Yes the needle is supposed to be sterile, but the needle will also push anything that is on the skin into the body upon injection. So if there is dirt or other things on the skin, you risk having a problem if you don't clean it off. Just my two cents. I may be a little weird :eek:

    Have you tried using ice on the injection site to numb it a little bit for her?

    You are in the very early days and they are tough.....hang in there....:cwds:
  5. Mimi

    Mimi Approved members

    Dec 19, 2008
    When we were in the hospital at dx, the nurse training us on the ward had us wipe her finger, wipe the bottle of insulin and wipe the injection site with an alcohol pad. And then said, "of course, you'll never do all this at home." :rolleyes::D

    I make sure her fingers are clean (most of the time :eek:)using soap and water (not alcohol) and if we didn't use pens to inject, I'd be wiping the vial. I don't think wiping the injection site is necessary unless they are really, really dirty. :D
  6. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

    Oct 22, 2005
    Alcohol in no way sterilizes the area. It might make it a little cleaner, but water work as well.
  7. Melissata

    Melissata Approved members

    Feb 19, 2009
    That is what I have read, but most people think that it sterilizes because they use it in hospitals and doctors offices. We don't wipe the top of the vial either. It doesn't sit out though, it is in a cabinet with all of the other d supplies. My son hasn't used alcohol for almost 15 years now. We do try to make sure that she washes her hands, because if she doesn't she gets some scary high numbers at times. Even a little bit of something on the finger can cause a reading to be off. You certainly don't want to treat a high that wasn't!
  8. valerie k

    valerie k Approved members

    Feb 19, 2008
    from experience, i can tell you, dirt has no effect on the blood sugars :D

    neither does paint, grease, oil..... sugar from the donuts :rolleyes:is another story.
  9. BrendaK

    BrendaK Neonatal Diabetes Registry

    Oct 29, 2005
    We use a paper towel to wipe off fingers if we're not washing them. Wet one side of the paper towel and wipe off the finger and then dry it with the other side.

    We have been told by several docs NOT to use alcohol wipes on the skin before and injection. It dries out the skin too much. Since the needle is sterile, that's what's important. We don't do anything for shots, just give it quickly!
  10. Gracie'sMom

    Gracie'sMom Approved members

    Aug 26, 2009
    We have our dd wash her hands with soap and water before testing because when we haven't we have gotten numbers 200+ higher than she is, and even with wiping the skin down before injections / pump sites she has a tendency toward site infections . . .
  11. rare

    rare Approved members

    Mar 18, 2008
    I remember being told not to use alcohol because it dries the skin out. Fingers become calloused over time anyway. I'd hate to think what alcohol would do to them. Eeep. The best thing is plain old soap & water. A good scrubbing for 15 - 30 seconds followed by more scrubbing to rinse will kill all germs. That being said, T doesn't even bother to wash his hands most of the time. :eek:
  12. sage68

    sage68 Approved members

    Feb 25, 2010
    I only wipe my daughters' fingers (or toes in Anne's case:eek:) if we get a very high reading or if I know that she has sugar on her fingers. I have never actually wiped the injection site or the vials. But, now that both girls are on a pump, I always wipe the inset sites with alcohol before applying since they will be on their skin for 3 days before changing.
  13. Max's*Mommy

    Max's*Mommy Approved members

    Dec 24, 2009
    This exactly. Max took a few months before he got used to the needles but my me "injecting" myself, he made him feel more comfortable.
  14. mom24grlz

    mom24grlz Approved members

    Mar 30, 2010
    Our Endo's office told us that wiping off the finger isn't necessary, and might make the finger tougher to penitrate with the lancet. They said washing with warm water and soap was ok.

    We still wipe the injection area with alcohol.
  15. Hollyb

    Hollyb Approved members

    Dec 15, 2005
    We were told not to bother with alcohol for the injection area and NOT to use it for fingers (too drying). We do use an alcohol-based prep wipe for pump insertions -- more important because the catheter remains in place.
  16. SarahKelly

    SarahKelly Approved members

    Nov 14, 2009
    I remember reading a study somewhere that there are more infections after using alcohol wipes (in this study). My husband has never utilized alcohol wipes and we were told by the endo and CDE to not use them on DS since he's so young it would dry out his skin and cause more issues.
  17. deafmack

    deafmack Approved members

    Sep 22, 2006
    I have never used alchohol wipes. I decided not to after seeing a friend constantly use them and end up with what were horrible callouses on his fingers from doing so. I just use warm water and a little bit of cleanser and rinse with warm water when I need to do so.
  18. Flutterby

    Flutterby Approved members

    Nov 11, 2006
    I am really surprised by the responses here.. we don't use alcohol wipes on the fingers (it does dry them) unless we have nothing else.. we use soap and water most every single time. We also clean with alcohol wipes and ivprep where her pump site goes.. the ONE time it didn't get done, she ended up with a nasty infection. Your skin has bacteria on it, even after a shower, there is still bacteria on it, not cleaning the injection area you are introducing that bacteria into your body and increasing the risk for infection.. We use 4 or 5 alcohol wipes with each site change.. we start with a wide circle, and each alcohol wipe we make the circle smaller, never overlapping the alcohol wipe from an uncleaned area to a cleaned area (by doing so, you are taking the dirt/grime and germs from the uncleaned area to the already cleaned area), each alcohol wipe only goes one circle around.. we are very particular on how we clean her pump sites because she HAS had infection.. we do our best to prevent them, but even with our anal ways of cleaning the pump site, she still gets infections from time to time.
  19. Heather(CA)

    Heather(CA) Approved members

    Jun 18, 2007
    It's much better to just wash your hands, we almost never use alcohol on fingers. Never did for shots because it's just not necc. If Seth's hands are dirty we test his arm.
  20. Brandi's mom

    Brandi's mom Approved members

    Dec 18, 2009
    We were told to use it for fingers, injections, and wiping the vials and the pen tips. I got out of the habit of wiping the vials/pens but Brandi always uses them for fingers and injections and she wipes the excess blood off her finger after testing with the wipe too.

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