Alcohol pads yes or no

Help Support ValveReplacement.org:

mecretired

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
199
Location
Southeast Missouri, USA
When I began my self testing I’m sure I was told to just wash my hands before the finger stick and to not use alcohol pads. Use of alcohol pads could contaminate the sample. I am currently being treated for endocarditis. One of my doctors said the finger stick is a possible way the infection was introduced to my blood stream. He said that as long as the alcohol dries first there should be no problem with contamination. What were all of you self testers told? Do you use alcohol pads?
 

dick0236

Eat the elephant one bite at a time
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
2,879
Location
louisville, KY USA
Good question. I have always just washed my hands under warm water. I went thru my CoagXS owners manual and can't find anything about NOT using alcohol. I did find a tele number 1-800-428-4674, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for Roche Diagnostics Technical Service.......they should know. Come back and post what they tell you.
 

mecretired

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
199
Location
Southeast Missouri, USA
Good question. I have always just washed my hands under warm water. I went thru my CoagXS owners manual and can't find anything about NOT using alcohol. I did find a tele number 1-800-428-4674, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for Roche Diagnostics Technical Service.......they should know. Come back and post what they tell you.
Thank you. I will do that.
 

Protimenow

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
2,701
Location
California
When I first started testing, I used the pads. It took a while for the alcohol to dry.

For the last five or more years, I haven't used the pads - I just wash my hands, dry with a paper towel (always clean), and do the test. So far, no problems. (The one-use lancing devices are covered - there's no handling of the lancet, which is covered until you use it, and I suspect that the only chance of any kind of infection may be from a really unclean finger).
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
6,391
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
...One of my doctors said the finger stick is a possible way the infection was introduced to my blood stream.
with all due respect, which clearly isn't due much, your Dr has never considered that you may bite your lip, chew on something a bit sharp or perhaps even clean your teeth. Your mouth is a festival of bacteria (and its no surprise that the lowest performing students who didn't give a rats during microbiology labs were med students)

I never have, after all its just a scratch. Do you swab yourself before you nick yourself out in the field?

Its not like a deep penetration such as a hypo does, and we actually start blood oozing out almost immediately (thus pushing out any possible infection present on your basically sterile lance).

So unless you've just gone to the toilet and done a number 2 and used your finger to wipe your hole (in middle eastern traditional manner) and then lance that finger I think just washing your hands is enough.
 

Protimenow

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
2,701
Location
California
Strep?
That makes sense. Like most humans, when you get a small cut on your hand, you instinctively put it into your mouth, or suck on it, or lick it. Your saliva is a natural antibiotic. So, after you lance your finger and run your test, the finger goes into your mouth, for all its healing properties.

Right?

Back when I was using the alcohol pads, which were and still are extremely expensive (they've gone up to 5 or 6 cents each at Costco, I used to try to reuse them. My favorite method was to let them dry out, put them back into their foil pouch, then just before testing, I remove the wipe from the pouch, give them a swirl or two in the toilet bowl to reactivate the already evaporated alcohol (I wouldn't trust that filthy tap water), and then carefully and completely wipe down the fingertip that I'm going to use for testing. I was able to get three or four more tests from ONE pad, using this method.

(This brings the price down to about a penny per use).

I haven't tried to convert my single-use lancing device (well, I've rearmed it, but never used it again), because I wouldn't want to infect myself with something nasty by using a lancet that incised my skin for a few microseconds, would I?
 
Last edited:

Keithl

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
246
I use an alcohol pad. I rinse my hand in warm water as my CoagSense powers up. Saw that suggestion on here somewhat, works great I get plenty of blood. After hand is warmed I wipe spot with alcohol pad, then use sterile gauze pad to wipe it and then put in test strip. The CoagSense starts a 25 second count down and I start squeezing forward on my finger to get blood there then as the count down hits 3-4 seconds I prick finger and get blood into the tube so that as machine is ready so am I. I picked up 300 alcohol pads and then 200 sterile pads online cheap.
 
Last edited:

Protimenow

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
2,701
Location
California
I guess you won't do much harm being so careful with alcohol wipes and gauze strips - as long as the alcohol has completely evaporated before you incise your finger, but it seems to me that you're being way more cautious than necessary.

What does it mean to 'rise' your hand?
 

Keithl

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
246
Sorry ‘rinse’ my hand. I run my hand under warm water for maybe 15-30 seconds and it helps open up the blood vessels. I get blood so easy now. When they came with my machine to “train” me they said if I don’t have alcohol wipes that washing my hands was fine. I don’t even think twice about it now, I have a procedure that I just do robotically now.
 

Protimenow

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
2,701
Location
California
My kids, while in elementary school, were taught by a teacher to 'rise your hand' (rather than raise your hand). I was curious if that use of the word was in play here - although I couldn't quite understand how getting the blood to run away from your fingers would have helped get a good drop of blood.
 

vitdoc

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
60
Location
Southern Ca.
I just wash my hand in warm water which may increase the local blood supply. Don't use alcohol.
Never infected and I agree exceeding unlikely to get bacteremia from a finger stick. Mouth , gut more likely or things like kidney infection much more likely source of infection from the blood route. Even with alcohol it is pretty hard to fully sterilize the skin. Probably betadine would be superior. And if one were still paranoid you could just put your hand in an autoclave. (not recommended)
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
6,391
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
betadine would be superior. And if one were still paranoid you could just put your hand in an autoclave. (not recommended)
but if anyone does, please video it and put it on youtube.
Qn ... in order to close the pressure door would you detach the hand first or just use a full body autoclave?
 
Last edited:

Protimenow

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2010
Messages
2,701
Location
California
Betadine would work. Just be sure to dry that betadine colored finger with a fairly clean dishtowel before you incise your finger.
 
2

Latest posts

Top