Tips On Using Insulin Pen Needles
There are a number of tips that insulin pen users typically pick up on pretty quickly once theyve started use:
- Quick stab. Many of us think that slowly easing the needle into the skin can make it hurt less, but thats not the case. It tends to hurt or at least be a bit more uncomfortable doing that. Just jab it into your skin, like youd rip a Band-Aid off quickly.
- Straight in, out. 90-degree angles are best. When inserting and removing from skin, dont twist the needle to any angle other than that, or youll find that it hurts.
- Room temp insulin. Most insulins, especially the long-acting basal insulins, can burn a bit upon injection if the liquid is cold, like when just removed from a refrigerator. If you can, let your insulin pen warm up a bit to room temperature before injecting.
- Relax. An instinct that many of us have when injecting is to clench or hold our breath, but healthcare professionals often point out how important it is to not tense up. Rather, take a deep breath or two before injecting. The more relaxed you are, the less youll feel the needle.
- Rotating sites. If we use the same spot on the skin too much, scar tissue can develop. So, keep track of where you inject insulin and rotate the sites accordingly. You can even find accessories like injection site temporary tattoos to help keep track of those spots.
Guide In Using The Insulin Syringe
The following points will help you better in understanding Insulin syringes and how the same can be used effectively to administer the hormone into the patients body.
- It is the abdomen area which absorbs Insulin the best.
- Also, remember to not use the syringe repeatedly at one area.
- 100-unit syringe stands for 2 unit of the hormone per line.
- Use a syringe which will help you take the largest dose of Insulin.
- Make sure that the markings are clear.
- The standard size of a needle is ½ an inch.
- It is prescribed that if you need 30-units of Insulin, use a 30 unit syringe and if you need 50 units or less of Insulin, you need to use 50-unit of the syringe.
How Do Insulin Syringes Work
Let us now understand the working of the Insulin syringe. First, the syringe needle needs to be uncapped. The plunger is moved so that the syringe is filled with air. Now the needle needs to be inserted into the vial. Using the plunger, the air should be moved into the vial. The plunger of the syringe now needs to be pulled back to fill the hormone into the syringe. After that, the syringe needs to be put out of the vial so that the extra hormone, if any, is dropped out of it. Post that, using the needle, the syringe needs to be inserted into any part of the body of the diabetic patient where there is fat. All parts of our body, except the forehead, consists of fat. Pushthe plunger, and the Insulin will now be injected into the patients body completely.
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Disposal Of Used Insulin Syringes
Used syringes, pen needles, cannulas and lancets must be disposed of in an Australian Standards-approved sharps container, which is puncture-proof and has a secure lid. These containers are usually yellow and are available through pharmacies, local municipal councils and state or territory diabetes organisations such as Diabetes Victoria.
Procedures to dispose of sharps containers vary from state to state.
For sharps disposal information and help, you can contact:
- state or territory diabetes organisations, such as Diabetes Victoria
- state Department of Health
Insulin needs to be stored correctly. This includes:
- Store unopened insulin on its side in a fridge.
- Keep the fridge temperature between 2 and 8 °C.
- Make sure that insulin does not freeze.
- Once opened, keep it at room temperature for not more than one month and then dispose of it safely.
- Avoid keeping insulin in direct sunlight.
Extreme temperatures can damage insulin so it doesn’t work properly. It must not be left where temperatures are over 30 °C. In summer your car can get this hot so don’t leave your insulin there.
There are various insulated insulin carry bags available for transporting insulin.
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Grudge Match: Pens Vs Syringes
Taking insulin is a cornerstone of care for millions who have diabetes, and the most common method of insulin delivery in the U.S. is injection via needle and syringe. Roughly 20% of insulin users wear an insulin pump, 15% use insulin pens, and less than 1% use jet injectors.
Insulin pumps can be expensive, with the average price hovering around $6,500, not including the disposable supplies that have to be replenished regularly, such as infusion sets, cartridges, and batteries. Although jet injectors may seem like a dream come true for patients who fear needles, they have been known to cause bruising and more pain than injections.
The big question is why insulin pens are not more popular in the U.S., whereas in Europe and Japan, they comprise from 66% to 75% of insulin prescriptions. Its not for lack of patient appreciation: In the November 2011 issue of the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, a review of 43 studies that compared patient- reported outcomes for insulin pen devices found that patients preferred pens over vial and syringe for myriad reasons, including ease of use, less pain, and greater perceived social acceptance.
Managed care has not embraced pens here, but with- out factoring cost offsets for things like improved outcomes and lower overall healthcare costs , its not clear to me how insurers come to that decision, says Asche.
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Ways Or Options To Administer Insulin
Multiple daily injections , involves taking several injections per day. Usually a person will take a basal insulin and then bolus with rapid or short acting insulin when they eat, or their blood sugar is high. Injection site include the stomach , the top and outer thighs, and upper and outer arms.
You can inject insulin using insulin syringes and pens. Refer to the device manufacturers website or speak with your doctor on how to use insulin syringes and pens correctly and which is right for you. Some people think the pen is more convenient when they only need a single type of insulin, and find pen needles to be more comfortable than syringes. On the other hand, syringes allow you to combine two types of insulin in a single dose and tend to be less expensive than pens.
Another option to give insulin is using an insulin pump. An insulin pump is about the side of a small cell phone. It delivers small amounts of short or rapid-acting insulin per hour to act as the basal insulin and then when a person eats, or their blood sugar is high they program in the amount of insulin for the pump to deliver their bolus. Pumps come tubeless or tubed.
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Which Device Syringe Or Pen
The decision to use syringes or pens is a personal one. Here are some points to think about:
- Insulin pens are easy to carry around and make measuring and injecting your insulin easier. Injections can be administered discretely. Most pens hold 300 units of insulin and can give up to 6080 units at a time. Most insulins are available as pens. Pens also allow the use of a 4 mm needle, which can be safer for ensuring administration into the subcutaneous area.
- Syringes hold up to 100 units. They may be best if you use mixed insulins or if you’re giving insulin to a child.
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What Is An Insulin Syringe
As we know, diabetes is caused when the body does not have enough Insulin or the Insulin produced by the body is not working efficiently. Hence, there are external sources through which the hormone should be injected into the body. One of the methods of doing the same is by using an Insulin syringe.
Let us now understand what is an Insulin syringe. Before other ways of administering Insulin were introduced, Insulin syringes were the most common way of providing the much-needed Insulin to a diabetic patient. When understanding about the Insulin syringes, we need to know that there are three different parts of these syringes. They are:
- The Needle: It is made up of silicone so that the syringe is able to pass through the patients skin easily while administering Insulin in the patients body.
- The Barrel: It is essentially the chamber which is used to hold the hormone. There are numbers marked throughout the barrel which helps to read the total units of Insulin.
- The Plunger: The Plunger is the rod which is present in the syringe. You can move this part back and forth easily. It is used to either hold Insulin inside the barrel or to administer Insulin through the needle into the patients body.
Is It Safe To Reuse An Insulin Syringe
Asked by Bethany, San Diego, California
My husband is a Type 2 diabetic who takes insulin three times a day. He often reuses the same syringe day after day or multiple times in one day. I am very concerned about this habit. It is unhealthy or dangerous?
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How To Dispose Of Pen Needles
These needles may be tiny, but theyre still considered hazardous medical waste and should be disposed of in official sharps containers. Local communities and states have varying disposal rules, sometimes allowing you to include these in sharps containers to put out for recycling just like insulin syringes.
You can read our DiabetesMine guide to disposing of used diabetes supplies, which includes these important tips:
- Never throw loose pen needles into the trash or directly into a recycling container.
- Put the used pen needle into a home sharps container, or something similar that follows your local rules on properly disposing of used sharps objects.
- You can clip the needle with a special needle-clipping device, such as the BD Safe-Clip. Those can be picked up your local pharmacy or ordered online.
- If you inject someone else or dispose of their pen needle, use extreme caution to avoid getting pricked, which can transmit infections.
Needle Thickness Whats The Deal
Needle thickness is measured in gauge rather than millimeters or inches. Pen needles come in 29 G to 32 G, and the higher the gauge, the thinner the needle.
The pen needle thickness is mainly relevant if you inject a large amount of insulin at a time, as you might want a needle with a lower gauge that will allow more insulin to flow through faster.
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Ways To Inject Insulin: Syringes And Pens
When it comes to giving yourself insulin, its important to know that you have options. The process of giving yourself insulin is called insulin delivery. Of course, the ideal way to deliver insulin would involve anything without a needle for example, swallowing a pill, using a nasal spray or wearing a patch. Unfortunately, these methods arent available . In the meantime, the most common insulin delivery methods are:
· Syringe and vial· Pump· Inhaler
Each of these methods has its pros and cons, and, for this reason, its helpful to talk out your options with a diabetes educator or your doctor to decide whats best for you. In this piece, well take a closer look at insulin syringes and insulin pens.
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Insulin Syringes For Pets
Insulin for pets may have different concentrations to units for humans. Your vet should be to advise you over the most appropriate syringe for use on your pet.
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The Different Insulin Types And How They Work
- Rapid-acting: Rapid-acting insulin starts working about 15 minutes after injection, peaks in about 1 hour and continues to work for 2 to 4 hours after injection. , insulin lispro , and insulin aspart
- Regular or Short-acting: Regular or short-acting insulin starts working 30 minutes after injection, peaks anywhere from 2 to 3 hours after injection, and continues to work for about 3 to 6 hours.
- Intermediate-acting: Intermediate-acting insulin starts working 2 to 4 hours after injection, peaks about 4 to 12 hours later, and lasts approximately 12 to 18 hours.
- Long-acting: Long-acting insulin is most often combined with rapid- or short-acting insulin. It starts working several hours after injection and tends to lower glucose levels up to 24 hours or almost a full day.
- Ultra long-acting: Ultra long-acting insulin starts working in 6 hours, but it does not peak and lasts about 36 hours, and in some cases longer than that.
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