CDC Recommendations on Use of Fingerstick Devices

The Department of Social Services has recently distributed information from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assisted living providers about the risks for transmitting hepatitis B virus (HBV) and other bloodborne pathogens to persons undergoing fingerstick procedures for blood sampling.  Reports of HBV infection outbreaks linked to diabetes care have been increasing. The information serves as a reminder that fingerstick devices should never be used for more than one person and to make sure that the facility’s infection control policy and procedures and staff practices are current and consistent with the CDC recommendations:

Anyone performing fingerstick procedures should review the following CDC recommendations to make sure that they are not placing persons in their care at risk for infection.

  • Fingerstick devices should never be used for more than one person.
  • Auto-disabling single-use fingerstick devices should be used for assisted monitoring of blood glucose.

These recommendations apply not only to licensed health care facilities but also to any setting where fingerstick procedures are performed, including assisted living or residential care facilities and nursing facilities. Virginia has had cases of transmission of Hepatitis from the improper use of equipment.  Please take the time to review the CDC recommendations and share with staff.