Where Should I Get Rid Of My Used Syringes
Ask your diabetes care team provider where to get rid of your syringes. He or she may tell you to place the syringe in a heavy-duty laundry detergent bottle or a metal coffee can. The container should have a cap that fits securely. Ask your local waste authority if you need to follow certain rules for getting rid of your syringes. Bring your used syringes home with you when you travel. Pack them in a plastic or metal container with a secure lid.
Importance Of Site Rotation
Injecting into the same exact spot on the same exact site over and over again can cause the skin to develop hard lumps or extra fat deposits. These lumps can be unpleasant looking, and they can change the way insulin is absorbed and make it more difficult to control your blood sugar.
Over time, the thickened skin may lose nerve endings and as a result, shots may become painless. A painless injection may seem like a good thing, but it can be a sign that the skin is becoming damaged.
The best way to control blood sugar is to aim to use the same site at the same time of day daily and to rotate within that site. For example, if you take mealtime insulin, inject it daily into your abdomen for breakfast, but rotate within that site daily. And if you take long-acting insulin at night, you can use your thigh, for example, but rotate within that site.
Never Inject Two Types Of Insulin In The Same Area At The Same Time
You should also keep in mind that you do not want to inject two different types of insulin in the same area at the same time.
If youre taking a long-acting insulin dose and a rapid-acting insulin dose at 7 a.m., you should make sure they are injected into two completely different areas of your body.
Some insulins can affect the potency, absorption, and efficacy of other insulins if they meet each other in that subcutaneous tissue.
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Can I Reuse My Syringe
You may increase your risk for a bacterial infection when you reuse syringes. Ask your diabetes care team provider if it is safe for you to reuse a syringe. Do not reuse a syringe if you have an open wound, trouble seeing, or have an infection. The following are tips on how to safely reuse a syringe:
- Recap the needle as soon as you are done using it. Place the cap on a table or hard surface and slide the needle into the cap.
- Do not let the needle touch anything but clean skin or the top of the insulin bottle.
- Never share syringes with anyone.
- Do not clean your needle with alcohol. This will remove the coating that helps your needle slide easily into your skin.
- Throw out any syringe that bends or touches anything other than clean skin.
How Is Insulin Taken
There are two ways to give yourself insulin: from vials or with pens. If you are using a vial, you will also need syringes. If you are using a pen, you will also need pen needles. Both the syringes and the pen needles can be thrown away after you use them. It is common to take more than one type of insulin. Mealtime insulin is taken before meals to help manage food-related rises in blood glucose . Long-acting insulin helps to manage blood glucose throughout the day and needs to be taken at the same time every day. Your health care provider will tell you when to take your insulin and how much to take.
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Select And Clean The Injection Site
Choose an injection site for your insulin shot.
Do not inject near joints, the groin area, navel, the middle of the abdomen, or near scars.
Clean the injection site in a circular motion with an alcohol wipe or a cotton ball dampened with rubbing alcohol. Leave the alcohol wipe or cotton ball nearby.
When Is The Best Time To Inject Insulin
The best time to inject insulin depends on the type of insulin you have been prescribed. Each persons treatment is different. Some people who use rapid-acting insulin take it just before they eat. Some people who use regular insulin take it 30 to 60 minutes before a meal.
There are 4 main types of insulin:
- Rapid-acting insulin starts working in about 15 minutes. It lasts for 3 to 5 hours
- Short-acting insulin starts working in 30 to 60 minutes and lasts 5 to 8 hours
- Intermediate-acting insulin starts working in 1 to 3 hours and lasts 12 to 16 hours
- Long-acting insulin starts working in about 1 hour and lasts 20 to 26 hours
- Premixed insulin is a combination of 2 types of insulin .
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How To Store And Dispose Of Your Home Medical Sharps
Dont throw your medical sharps directly into the trash or flush them down the toilet. Put them into a sharps container. You can use an empty, hard, opaque plastic container that has a screw-on cap, such as a laundry detergent bottle. Dont store sharps in glass bottles, soda bottles, milk jugs, aluminum cans, coffee cans, or paper or plastic bags. For more information, read the resource How to Store and Get Rid of Your Home Medical Sharps.
Stop using your sharps container when its a little more than half full. Wrap the lid or cap with strong tape to create a more secure seal and keep it from leaking. Label the bottle by writing on it Home Sharps: not for recycling.
If you live in New York City, you can place the sealed container in with your regular trash for collection. Dont put it with your recyclables. If you live in a different county of New York or another state, check with your local department of health. You can also use the resources below to find more information specific to your area.
- Safe Needle Disposal
Preparing For Your Insulin Injection
First and foremost, its important to make sure you have everything ready to administer your insulin injection. Gather the supplies you need which include:
Many people with diabetes find it makes life easier to store everything they need for their daily injections in a handy diabetic carrying case that can usually be found for under $15 at leading diabetic supply companies.
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How To Give Yourself An Insulin Injection
Everyone with type 1 diabetes and a large number of people with type 2 diabetes will eventually need to inject themselves with insulin. People starting insulin should sit down with their diabetes educator, pharmacist, physician, or other primary health care provider to learn the proper injection technique. These experts can teach you, watch you, and help you master insulin injections.
Here are the basic steps for giving yourself an insulin injection:
- Draw up the right number of units of air into the syringe.
- Inject the air into the insulin vial.
- Turn the vial upside down and draw up the right number of units of insulin.
- Pull the needle out of the bottle.
- Tap the syringe so air bubbles go to the top and they can be pushed out.
Common Insulin Injection Sites
Insulin injections can be given in different parts of the body. In fact, if you are taking insulin daily or more than once a day, your doctor will likely recommend altering injection sites for your comfort and in order to avoid a condition called lipodystrophy, in which the fat under the skin either builds up or breaks down causing lumps or indentations that can interfere with proper insulin absorption. Never inject into a scar, mole, bruise or wound as this may also interfere with absorption and can cause other complications.
There are four primary areas on the body where you can administer insulin using a syringe. These include:
This is the site recommended for most people as insulin is absorbed rapidly and predictably from the abdomen. Additionally, this is a very accessible part of the body to reach making it easier to administer the injection properly and safely. Also, thanks to the size of the area, you can alter injection sites around the abdomen. The one caveat is to make sure you choose an injection site thats at least two inches from your belly button.
The top and outer areas of the thigh present other possible injection sites. The recommended injection area is usually somewhere at least four inches lower than the top of the leg and four inches above the knee.
The fatty tissue on the back of the arm, between the shoulder and the elbow, is another common insulin injection site.
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Why It Matters Where You Inject Your Insulin
Insulin is designed to be injected into body fat also known as subcutaneous tissue.
The rate at which your insulin is absorbed is largely based on the assumption that its being injected into fat, rather than muscle.
When a pharmaceutical company tells you that the onset of your Novolog or Humalog insulin is 15 minutes, for example, that is based on when it is injected into body fat. The peak of its efficacy and the duration of it staying in your bloodstream are also dependent on it being injected into body fat not muscle.
When Should I Call My Doctor Or Diabetes Care Team Provider
- You feel or see hard lumps in your skin where you inject your insulin.
- You think you gave yourself too much or not enough insulin.
- Your injections are very painful.
- You see blood or clear fluid on your injection site more than 1 time after you inject insulin.
- You have questions about how to give the injection.
- You cannot afford to buy your diabetes supplies.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
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How Do I Know How Much Insulin To Give
How much insulin a person needs depends on their blood sugar testing results, their blood sugar goal number, and their needs. Your doctor or nurse will work out your insulin dose for you, and then tell you how to change the dose if you need to, for example, if you exercise more one day, eat less, or are sick.
Rotate Insulin Injection Sites
Because you will be injecting insulin on a regular basis for diabetes, you need to know where to inject it and how to rotate your injection sites. By rotating your injection sites, you will make your injections easier, safer, and more comfortable. If the same injection site is used over and over again, you may develop hardened areas under the skin that keep the insulin from being used properly.
Important: Only use the sites on the front of your body for self-injection. Any of the sites may be used if someone else is giving you the injection.
Follow these guidelines:
- Ask your doctor, nurse, or health educator which sites you should use.
- Move the site of each injection. Inject at least 1 1/2 inches away from the last injection site.
- Try to use the same general injection area at the same time of each day . Note: The abdomen absorbs insulin the fastest, followed by the arms, thighs, and buttocks.
- Keep a record of which injection sites you have used.
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How Can I Decrease Pain When I Inject Insulin
- Inject insulin at room temperature. If the insulin has been stored in the refrigerator, remove it 30 minutes before you inject it.
- Remove all air bubbles from the syringe before the injection.
- If you clean your skin with an alcohol pad, wait until it has dried before you inject insulin.
- Relax the muscles at the injection site.
- Do not change the direction of the needle during insertion or removal.
How Do I Use An Insulin Pen
Select a clean, dry work area. The supplies you will need include:
- The prescribed insulin pen
- Pen needles and alcohol wipes
- A container for used equipment. You can use a hard plastic container with a screw-on or tight lid, or a commercial sharps container.
Here are the steps you will take:
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How To Give A Painless Injection
How to give a painless injection? Theres a simple technique to make injecting yourself with insulin easy and pain-free. The basic steps are to locate a fatty site so that you can inject the insulin into a layer of fat under the skin hold the needle like a dart and pierce the skin rapidly speed is key!
If you have Type 2 diabetes, sooner or later you may require insulin injections, either temporarily or permanently. This is nothing to be afraid of, even though many people with long-standing Type 2 diabetes literally spend years worrying about it. I usually teach all my patients how to inject themselves at our first or second meeting, before theres any urgency. Once they give themselves a sample injection of sterile saline , they find out how easy and painless it can be, and they are spared years of anxiety.
If youre anxious about injections, after you read this section, please ask your physician or diabetes educator to allow you to try a self-administered injection.
Insulin is usually injected subcutaneously.
To show you how painless a shot can be, your teacher should give himself or herself a shot and leave the syringe dangling in place, illustrating that no pain is felt. Your teacher should next give you a shot of saline to prove the point.
Now its time for you to give yourself an injection, using a syringe thats been partly filled for you with about 5 units of saline.
How to give a painless injection step by step
The Importance Of Insulin
Insulin is a hormone that your body uses to help convert glucose from the food or drinks you consume into energy. Once insulin helps glucose enter your cells, blood sugar levels in your bloodstream decrease. Using insulin is critical for both those who do not make any insulin and for people who are unable to produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels in control.
People with type 1 diabetes need to inject insulin daily to survive, and sometimes people with type 2 diabetes need to add insulin shots to their therapy regimen in order to keep blood sugar levels in check. Women with gestational diabetes sometimes need to inject insulin as their pregnancy progresses and overall hormone levels rise, but insulin injections can often be discontinued after delivery.
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Where On The Body Do I Inject With The Insulin Pen
Recommended injection sites include the abdomen, front and side of the thighs, upper and outer arms and buttocks. Do not inject near joints, the groin area, the navel, the middle of the abdomen, or scar tissue.
You will also need to rotate, or switch, your injection sites. If you use the same injection site over and over again, you may develop hardened areas under your skin that keep the insulin from working properly. Rotating your injection sites will make your injections easier, safer and more comfortable.
Follow these guidelines:
- Ask your healthcare provider which sites on your body you should use for injections.
- The injection site is about two inches of skin. Clean this area with an alcohol wipe in a circular motion.
- Move the site of each injection. Inject at least one-and-a-half inches away from the last spot where you injected.
- Try to inject in the same general area of your body at the same time each day.
- Keep a record of which injection sites you have used. Every time you give yourself an injection, write down the date, time and site.
Depending on which type of insulin you are taking, different parts of the body may absorb the insulin differently.