Alcohol use with insulin injections and BG sticks


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Specializes in orthopedics, telemetry, PCU. 69 Posts

i think about half the reason to use alcohol is to make sure that the site you're sticking is simply clean, not necessarily sterile. for example, if someone was just eating an orange and had juice on their hand and their finger wasn't clean, then you would get a falsely elevated reading. i always use alcohol, but a warm washcloth would probably work just as well.


mustlovepoodles, RN

Specializes in OB/GYN, Peds, School Nurse, DD. 1,041 Posts

Okay, that makes me feel a little better. I am a diabetic and I usually don't use alcohol when I check my bs... (I confess I also use the lancets more than once)

I feel like I have the choice not to bother with alcohol when its me, but I feel better using alcohol on my residents.

Me too. I use my lancet until it's actually hurting me when I stick. I wash my hands and never use alcohol. My sister has Type 1 and I've never seen her use alcohol, either. In fact, she often injects her insulin right through her shirt! :eek: First time I saw that I about died. But she's been doing it for years and never had a problem.

However, in any institutional setting I would always use alcohol since those places are replete with germs...



Has 37 years experience. 3,413 Posts

Good topic, but Jackierocks, what is an EPB? Thanks