Trouble with finger pricks

We are newly dx’d (Dec 2018). We need advice on finger pricks. Sometimes (not all) we can not get my son to bleed! It’s crazy. We “milk” his arm and finger, hold his hand below his heart, etc etc etc The lance is set to the highest number… deepest “poke” ??
He is well-hydrated, so that’s not the problem. Since it’s inconsistent, I haven’t figured out what is different some of the time. Any suggestions appreciated.

@BigBee hi Karyn, the depth of capillaries vary among people. fingers can sometimes be equipped with callouses. my niece uses the pad of her finger because she won’t bleed from the edges (the way they tell you to do it).

Make sure you have exactly the right lances, the needle length can vary and even if the lances are correct, manufacturing differences may make a whole lot “defective”, they are cheap, so you can pitch the lot and get new ones. The autolance may also need to be changed if the end cap or lance holder isn’t in the right spot.

a good hack is to wash your hands with warm water, young children “shunt” blood when they get cold and it lowers circulation to the feet and hands. Since you mentioned inconsistent… my guess is the warm water may help a lot.

Thank you for such a quick reply!!! We will try the warm water trick. Anything to make these little moments easier!

1 Like

Hi there, I’m Carolyn, I have trouble with finger sticks too. The warm water thing helps a lot, so does vigorous exercise or just coming out of a shower or bath where I’ve been nice and warm for awhile.

Also, I usually do all of a given day’s sticks in one finger. That way each one has 9 days to heal before it’s poked again. I realize that may not work for everyone, but it does for me. Good luck!

Thanks Carolyn! I like the idea of using one finger each day. While my son doesn’t complain, I imagine it HAS to hurt! I appreciate your reply.

1 Like

Hi Karyn @BigBee , just as with insulin injection / infusion sites, rotation, rotation, rotation also applies to finger-sticks. and with finger-sticks never use the “center” of the finger but rather use the sides of the finger tip.

In the days before I switched to a continuous monitor, I was doing a minimum of eight BGM checks every day and each site had a day’s rest - how, you ask? I use all eight fingers and each finger has two sides, an “upper” and a “lower” as I look at them. On odd numbered days I used the upper side [LEFT Hand - index finger before breakfast, middle finger after breakfast, ring finger before lunch, etc.] and used the “lower side” on even numbered days - 18 different locations that minimized pain and allowed healing. For years, including in the late 1960’s when BG was checked with reaction strips and a sharp edge piece of Sheetmetal was called a lancet, I would always vigorously rub the finger to be poked on my opposite sleeve to enhance blood flow - the rougher the fabric, the better my blood would flow.

Karyn, what I found myself doing sometimes (especially when my hands were cold) was like the trick kids do sometimes. They would swing their arm around fully stretched out. Then by running a comb across a fingertip and get blood coming out without cutting the skin.
SO I tried using that as a basis, and swung my arm around hard just after washing my hands with hot water and drying them (as usual), then swing my arm around a few times and hit my fingertip with the lancet. Worked a LOT better than otherwise.
The only caution is to beware of other people nearby. One day I went in the restroom and followed this procedure, but then another fellow came rushing in a bit late and I almost clobbered him before I realized he was there…
At least he didn’t get mad, since my fingers were PLAINLY stretched out, so he knew I was’t really trying to deck him.