General Tips For Administering An Insulin Shot
- Allow the insulin to come to room temperature before injecting, to avoid pain.
- Always use a new syringe and needle or pen needle.
- Always remove the needle before storing your insulin pen.
- Keep your insulin away from extreme hot or cold temperatures and store according to the manufacturers recommendations.
- Check your insulin vial for particles or anything that doesnt look right.
- Dispose of used needles safely.
- Create a plan for rotating injection sites.
- Inject close to your belly button, near bony areas, or where you have a mole, scar, or wound.
- Use the same exact spot repeatedly to inject insulin.
- Let yourself run out of supplies. Always bring extra when traveling.
- Try to use expired insulin, as it may not work effectively.
- Forget to wear a medic alert ID in case you have a hypoglycemic event and cant speak for yourself.
- Forget to carry a rapid source of glucose.
Since insulin is a glucose-lowering medication, you should always be prepared in the event you need to treat a low blood sugar by carrying a rapid acting source of glucose with you, like a juice box, glucose tabs, or hard candy.
Using A Syringe And Needle
If you will be giving yourself an insulin shot, these are the steps to take:
Gather your supplies. As listed above, you’ll need your prescribed insulin , a needle and syringe, alcohol wipes, and a sharps container.
Make sure you have the right insulin and that it has not expired any insulin left in an opened bottle should be discarded after 30 days.
How Is Insulin Stored
Insulin is a hormone that will lose its effectiveness if exposed to direct sunlight or high temperatures. It should be kept in the refrigerator, but it should not be frozen. If you have any doubt about the storage of your dog’s insulin, it is safer to replace it rather than risk using ineffective insulin. Insulin is safe as long as it is used as directed. Keep it out of reach of children.
Insulin comes in an airtight bottle that is labeled with the insulin type and the concentration. It is important to make sure you match the insulin concentration with the proper insulin needles. Insulin needles show their measurement in “units per mL”, which must correspond to the concentration of the insulin you are using. There are two common forms of insulin and corresponding syringes: U-100 and U-40. Your veterinarian will instruct you on which type of insulin you are using and which type of syringe you should use.
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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.
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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What Do I Need To Know About Insulin Treatment For Diabetes Mellitus
In diabetic dogs, the main treatment for regulating blood glucose is giving insulin by injection. Dogs with diabetes mellitus typically require two daily insulin injections as well as a dietary change. Although a dog can go a day or so without insulin and not have a crisis, this should not be a regular occurrence treatment should be looked upon as part of the dog’s daily routine. This means that you, as the dog’s owner, must make both a financial commitment and a personal commitment to treat your dog. If you are out of town or go on vacation, your dog must receive proper treatment in your absence.
There is a newer glucose monitoring system that can measure glucose continuously over several days. Talk to your veterinarian to see if this is right for your dog.
Consistent treatment is a vital component of the proper management of the diabetic dog. Your dog needs consistent administration of insulin, consistent feeding, and a stable, stress-free lifestyle. Your dog should live indoors to minimize uncontrollable variables that can disrupt regulation. The most commonly used insulins are Vetsulin®, Caninsulin®, Humulin®N, and Detemir . Your veterinarian will determine the best insulin for your dog.
When Should I Contact My Healthcare 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 once 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 You Inject Insulin With A Syringe Step
You may take insulin using a syringe that you fill from a vial. Ask your doctor or nurse to show you how to do it correctly. Follow their directions carefully. Here is a step-by-step summary of how you inject insulin from a vial using a syringe and needle.
Fear Of Needles And Taking Shots
Kathy Casper, RN, CDE, a diabetes educator at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Massachusetts, encounters a lot of people who are afraid of needles and/or afraid of pain. As she puts it, That was then, this is now we have better treatments for type 1 diabetes, and that includes needles that are short and thin some people barely feel them. Casper shows her patients the needle and haves them give a practice shot with salt water.
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Where Should I Get Rid Of My Used Syringes
Ask your healthcare provider where to get rid of your syringes. He 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.
Tips For Choosing Insulin Injection Sites
|Change injection sites with every injection. Inject at least one finger-width away from your previous injection site. If you are having 2 or more injections a day, choose a different site for your morning and afternoon doses. When injecting 2 different insulins, inject them in different sites. Use a new needle for every injection.||Don’t inject deep into the muscle. Insulin should only be injected into the fatty layer under your skin. Don’t inject into fatty lumps. Don’t inject on damaged or scarred skin. Don’t move daily from one part of your body to another, such as from your tummy area to your thigh. Instead move within the area being used.|
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Shots And Pumps: The Basics
You can give your child insulin in a few ways, depending on what works best for both of you.
The oldest method is through multiple daily injections with a syringe or insulin pen, which is a disposable needle tip placed at the end of a marker-shaped device that contains a pre-filled insulin cartridge.
An alternative to injections is an insulin pump, a beeper-sized computerized device often worn on a belt or in a pocket. It delivers an ongoing low dose of insulin through a small tube inserted into your child’s body through a needle. The tube is then taped into place and the needle removed. An insulin pod pump combines the tubing and insulin cartridge of a pump into one device that adheres directly to the body.
Whenever a child wearing a pump eats or has an elevated blood sugar level, he pushes a button on the pump to deliver an extra amount of insulin, called a bolus. The site of the pump’s tube needs to be changed every two to three days to prevent infection, and also because it’s harder to control glucose levels when insulin is always infused into the same area. Shots are a less expensive route and require less education and training than what’s needed for proper use of the computerized insulin pump, according to the Harvard-affiliated Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.
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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Injecting Insulin With An Insulin Pen:
How To Give Insulin In The Arm With An Insulin Pen Or Syringe
Injecting insulin into the upper arm can be a bit tricky to do yourself but by using your knee you can create a pinched-up area of skin to inject into. If you find this difficult, for example, if you dont have much loose skin on your arms, it may be best to choose a different injection site, such as your stomach or thigh, or ask somebody else to hold up an area of pinched skin and give your injection for you. The same method can be used whether you are using a syringe or an insulin pen.
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Todays Needles Are Shorter And Narrower
Needle technology has come a long way in recent years. Todays needles are smaller and finer than ever before, making injections as painless as possible. Research no longer supports the use of needles longer than 8 mm for most people. Many are able to use needles as short as 4mm. These shorter needles have not impacted the efficacy of insulin and cause less tissue trauma and more accurate delivery to the subcutaneous tissue . The subcutaneous tissue is recommended for injection since it provides the most reliable and stable absorption. In addition, needle tips have improved in design which require less penetration force. The combination of shorter needles, thinner needles and improved needle tips have all contributed to better injection comfort.
Giving An Insulin Injection
To give an insulin injection, you need to fill the right syringe with the right amount of medicine, decide where to give the injection, and know how to give the injection.
Your health care provider or a certified diabetes educator will teach you all of these steps, watch you practice, and answer your questions. You may take notes to remember the details. Use the information below as a reminder.
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Different Types Of Insulin Therapy
People with diabetes have a choice of options for administering insulin:
- Insulin syringes combined with smaller and finer needles
- Insulin pens these combine a fine needle and insulin cartridge in one unit making it easier to use than a syringe and are the most common method of administration in Canada
- Insulin pumps these dont use needles and deliver insulin continuously into the skin, day and night
Talk to your diabetes healthcare team together about the type and pattern of injections that will work best for you. Also discuss how you can identify good injection technique and how to examine the injection site for any problems that may affect the action of the insulin.
If you would like to hear from a group of people regarding their experience starting on insulin,.
Tips For More Comfortable Injections
The following are recommendations to make injecting insulin more tolerable:
- Before each injection, the site should be inspected and gently massaged. Hair roots, moles, scars or infected areas should be avoided. Avoid injecting through clothing so the site can be seen.
- Rotate sites as advised by the diabetes healthcare team.
- A new needle should be used each time.
- Use room temperature insulin.
- If using alcohol, inject once the alcohol has fully dried
- Insert the needle through the skin using a quick, smooth movement without excess force.
- Inject the medication slowly and evenly. Ensure that the pen knob has been depressed fully.
- In some cases, the insulin dose should be split into 2 injections at 2 different sites, since discomfort at the injection site may decrease when doses less than 50 units are used .
- Higher-concentration basal and mealtime insulins are now available in Canada, allowing for higher doses to be administered in smaller volumes than was previously the case.
You should follow the specific recommendations given by your healthcare professional. For example, injections in different parts of the body can affect blood glucose levels.
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