Saturday, March 12, 2011

Teaching insulin injection technique


  • Make sure the person assembles the pen, attaches the needle, dials the dose and gives the injection themselves.You may need to guide them - but don’t do it for them.

  • Don't forget to do an air shot before each injection, especially if a new cartridge and/or needle has been fitted.An air shot will make sure the plunger is connecting, and expel air from the pen.

  • If using intermediate or pre-mixed insulin, invert or rotate the pen at least 20 times to mix the insulin.

  • Inject into clean skin with clean hands.Alcohol wipes are not recommended.Alcohol is an astringent and can make the injection more painful, as well as hardening the skin.
  • To 'pinch up' or not to 'pinch up'? Insulin should be injected into soft fat, not muscle. To avoid intramuscular injection, slim people, or those using injection sites without much subcutaneous fat, may need to 'pinch up' and/or use a shorter needle length.

  • Inject at a 90º angle.

  • Push the needle in all the way.
  • Needles come in 5, 6, 8, 12 and 12.7 mm lengths.Shorter needles reduce the fear of injections, and suit most people regardless of age or weight.A few people prefer longer needles, but they may need to ‘pinch up’ or inject at an angle less than 90º to avoid injecting into a muscle.
  • After the injection, leave the needle in the skin for 5 to 10 seconds to avoid leakage.With large doses, it may need to be left in for longer.
  • Occasionally, there may be bleeding after the needle is withdrawn. Reassure the person, and advise them to apply gentle pressure for a couple of minutes to minimise bruising. They should not rub the area, as this may increase the rate of insulin absorption

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