Insulin is used for the treatment of Diabetes Mellitus 1 and 2 to lower and maintain raised blood sugar levels in normal range for a period of time.

Insulin can be administered through injections and pens.

Insulin injections taken through insulin pens may help in taking the shot easily and also in easier loading of the dose.

Storage:

Insulin vials can be stored at room temperature (around 25 C) for about a month. It can be stored in refrigerator, but should be avoided in the freezer, extreme cold and extreme heat. It should not be stored in car cabinets, near hot items and freezer. It is always the best practice to check for the expiration date and to keep all the vials at the same place and box after use during storage.

Dos:

  • Keep the vial that is in use at room temperature.
  • Always wash hands with plain water and gentle soap or a sanitizer before and after taking the shot to avoid an infection from hands.
  • Load adequate amount of prescribed dose in syringe and double check the same.
  • Push the air out with plunger before taking the shot.
  • Choose a soft area of skin in regions such as abdomen around belly, front or side of thigh, buttocks, arms as layer of fat under skin is good and nerve endings are less in this region causing less pain and also helps with an easier shot.
  • Relax the chosen area for shot and the muscle underneath for better absorption of insulin, less pain.
  • Pinch the area of skin with clear, good amount of tissue between thumb and fingers for the shot.
  • Insert the needle of injection, pen only in subcutaneous fat (fat tissue under skin) by holding it straight (90degree). It can be held at 45degree angle in thin individuals to avoid injection into muscle, as the layer of fat is thin.
  • Keep the hand and insulin injection/pen steady without quivering, shivering to avoid injury around, injury to a blood capillary under skin, bruise, etc.
  • Push the plunger quickly but steadily and leave it in place holding it steady for about 10 seconds after shot to avoid escape of more amount of insulin outside skin.
  • Apply mild pressure over the shot area with a cotton swab.
  • Always clip the needle by buying a device that clips, catches the needle. If not, consulting the local concerned personnel regarding ways of disposing the needle, medical waste specific to that area may be a good idea. However, it should always be capped.
  • Always put an insulin reminder to ensure shots are taken at regular intervals, correct time, as per prescription.
  • Always carry small snacks along as a precaution for hypoglycemic attack after an insulin shot.
  • Eat healthy, small regular meals, take insulin shots at prescribed time and amount to avoid fluctuations of blood sugar levels between high and low but to maintain at normal range.

Don’ts:

  • Do not use the vial that has a color change, presence of particles, looks frozen, after expiry date, etc.
  • Do not use a needle that is dull, bent, discolored, with blood stain.
  • Do not use the same needle of pen without cleaning the needle with alcohol swab.
  • Do not share the needle, syringe, pen with others or for any other purpose but for insulin shot.
  • Do not leave the needle open without cap.
  • Do not place or leave the needle anywhere, never let the needle touch anything apart from skin and the top of insulin bottle for loading the syringe.
  • Do not reuse the syringe or needle when one may have any ongoing infection, low immunity, wounds or cuts in hands, etc. due to more risk of infection.
  • Do not keep the skin, muscle of the chosen area for shot tensed as it may hamper good absorption of insulin and may cause pain.
  • Avoid rubbing the area after the shot.
  • Do not cut the needle after the shot with scissors, etc. as the broken part of needle may pop up, fly and land anywhere around. There may be high chances of losing it and a risk of someone stepping on it and get injured.

References:

http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/medication/insulin/insulin-storage-and-syringe-safety.html

https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/teens/me-and-my-diabetes/getting-my-glucose-right/insulin/storage

https://www.diabetes.co.uk/festivals-and-diabetes.html

https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/idu.html

https://www.diabetes.co.uk/insulin/how-to-inject-insulin.html

https://www.diabetes.co.uk/insulin/diabetes-and-insulin-pens.html

https://www.diabetes.co.uk/insulin/diabetes-and-injecting-insulin.html

-Dr. Divya Teja Pasupuleti

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s