Several warnings have been issued by the CDC regarding unsafe practices that might result in the transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and other infectious diseases during assisted blood glucose monitoring and insulin administration. Assisted blood glucose monitoring is when a healthcare worker uses a shared glucometer to help or perform glucose testing, usually for multiple patients with diabetes (instead of self-blood glucose monitoring using the patient’s glucometer). This typically occurs in hospitals or clinics, ambulatory care settings, senior centers, correctional facilities, long-term care settings, health fairs, and schools or camps. Most frequently, the unsafe practices that have contributed to the transmission of infections include the following:
- Using fingerstick devices, also called lancing devices, for more than one person
- Using a blood glucometer for more than one person without cleaning and disinfecting it after every use
- Failing to change gloves and perform hand hygiene between fingerstick procedures
- Using insulin pens for more than one person risks infection transmission
The CDC is alerting all persons who assist others with blood glucose monitoring and insulin administration to be aware of these concerns. More information on following CDC infection control requirements can be found here.
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