Then there’s the Unistik range from Medical Shop, a single use blood-sampling device. The needlepoint is safely shielded before use and then, to avoid accidental injuries and the risk of cross infection, the needle retracts after use. So use it once, then dispose of it knowing that the lancet is not ‘out’. Unistik also makes use of Comfort Zone Technology, which masks the discomfort of lancing, by targeting the perception of pain. It provides safe and comfortable sampling and is ideal if you are travelling, at work, or at school or college and so a perfect diabetic gift for a busy person. A box of these would be a great diabetes gift for anyone who moans that blood testing hurts (they’re probably not using a new lancet – it’s the old, blunt ones that hurt).

Insulin injection devices
The insulin injection device has also moved on a long way since the use of glass or plastic syringes and vials of insulin. Most people with diabetes use insulin pens which have cartridges of insulin and disposable replaceable needles. Modern insulin injection pens look just like posh writing instruments.

The latest insulin pen from Eli Lilly, the Humapen Luxura is as posh as the name suggests. These look stylish and unobtrusive and so make superb gifts for diabetics.

The Novopen insulin pen is still a design classic, but you can only use it if you’re on Novo insulins. The pen you get will probably be dictated by the brand of insulin that you use, which in the UK will be in agreement with your medical specialist. However, if you want some choice, the Autopen range of insulin pens cross the range of insulins available in the UK – they can take all the cartridges from the lead insulin brands, so you don’t have to stick to the pen you’re given with the insulin if you feel a need for another device.

A more modern insulin delivery innovation is the insulin pump which drips a continuous flow of insulin into the body, with extra doses given at meal times. The pump reservoir delivers insulin to the body by a thin plastic tube called an ‘infusion set’ which is permanently in place.

In the UK, access to an insulin pump may be down to a ‘postcode lottery’, but that does not stop you finding out about them. The lead suppliers of pumps in the UK are Medtronic and Accu-chek.

About Author

Sue Marshall is a freelance writer who has been a journalist for nearly 20 years and has had insulin dependent diabetes since 1972. She has designed the range of Desang diabetes kitbags that help people gain better diabetes control by keeping everything they need to monitor and medicate the condition safe and in one place. Sue set up Desang, a company selling diabetes kitbags and other diabetic gifts (also operating as ).

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