Product guide written by Diabetes Expert: Sue Marshall
BD (or Becton-Dickinson) is a brand name in the world of needles. A brand familiar to many of us who have to take insulin injections. Many of us will recall BD disposible syringes, indeed some may still use them.
Buy BD Micro-Fine Needles in the Diabetes Shop:
For those that moved on to insulin injection pens, then you may be using existing BD needles. Here we have a new, smaller-than-ever-before needle, coming in at only 4mm. So is smaller better? Based on the research undertake, it seems that it is.
There are a couple of factors. First, injections should be subcutaneous (under the skin) and not intra-muscular.
Pinch or fold skin?
There have been debates over the years about whether to not to pinch a fold of skin to inject into. There are arguments both for and against. This new shorter needle actually takes away the need to pinch a fold of skin.
Research has shown that the incidence of an intra-muscular injection with a 12.7mm needle is 45% as it’s big enough to go through the skin, the layer of fat we all have under the skin, and straight into muscle. The risk of an intra-muscular injection is minimised with the 4mm pen needle.
With a 90° insertion angle and no lifted skin fold, there is no risk of intra-dermal injections but the risk of an intra-muscular injection dramatically increases with needle length.
The diagram belows displays how the 4mm needle is adequate for not piercing muscle.
With poor blood glucose control due to intra-muscular injections it is clear why a lifted skin fold has often been recommended in the past. Unfortunately research has shown that almost two thirds of people with diabetes who inject do not use a lifted skin fold when injecting, with the subsequent increased risk of an intramuscular injection.
The second diagram below displays a summary of pain level of first pen needle used and current pen needle on different attributes.