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Risk of Cross-Infection Through Shared Diabetic Devices

Peter Shalit, MD; Cynthia Brennan, PharmD; Victory Murphy, ARNP; Thomas M. Hooton, MD
JAMA. 1990;263(1):34-35. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440010032014.
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To the Editor.—  A recent incident has made us aware of inadequate patient instructions accompanying diabetic devices. A 43-year-old woman positive (by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blot testing) for human immunodeficiency virus indicated to us that since 1981 she has screened several friends and relatives for diabetes by performing finger-stick blood glucose determinations on them. She routinely uses a single disposable lancet to draw blood from several individuals, including herself, in rapid succession without disinfecting the lancet. Four such individuals have been tested and are negative for human immunodeficiency virus.After finding that the labeling of the lancets and holder used by our patient had no warning against sharing used instruments, we surveyed the major local pharmacy chains to evaluate labeling of diabetic devices. Of five brands of lancets, six lancet holders, and three brands of insulin syringes, only one brand of lancet and two holders warned against use


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