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Please critique my injection techniques

Discussion in 'Insulin' started by Sugar High, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. Sugar High

    Sugar High Type 2 · Active Member

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    I have been on insulin for a few weeks. I have listened to the advice from my doc and read quite a bit both here and elsewhere about injection techniques. I would appreciate any comments on my procedure.

    I am using the Humulin N Kwik Pen.
    1. Wash the injection area with alcohol.
    2. Remove the pen cap and dip the tip in alcohol.
    3. Gently roll the pen between my hands 10 times then gently rotate the tip up and down 10 times to thoroughly mix the contents.
    4. Prime the pen. I have found with my pen that a setting of “1” produces a few droplets, even if done repeatedly. A setting of “2” produces a strong stream, which seems like a waste. Therefore, my plan is to not prime and then set the pen at 1 unit above the recommended dosage.
    5. Gently pinch the skin to thicken the fat layer and decrease the chances of injecting into muscle.
    6. When doing the injection, do not push the base of the needle into the skin to decrease the chances of injecting into muscle.
    7. Attach the needle, complete the injection, and immediately remove the needle and discard. While the needle is attached, air can get into the chamber, which can reduce the accuracy of the dosage.
    8. Wash the injection area with alcohol.
    I do all of my injections in my stomach. Since I take a blood glucose reading just before every injection, I use a 10-point rotation scheme that matches what I use for my finger pricks. I use the left hand in the morning and the same finger on the right in the evening. If the rotation calls for me to use finger #3 of the left hand, then I will inject in location #3 on the left side of my stomach.

    Does anyone have any comments or suggestions?

    I am especially interested in the pen priming. I was told to set the pen to "2" and inject into the air to prime the pen. That's whjat I have been doing, but it seems like a waste. This stuff is expensive!
     
  2. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
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    Priming the pen ensures that insulin is coming out, I've had a couple of occaisions now where I've had to change the needle before injecting.

    Personally, I don't use alcohol or wipes and don't see a need for it, but that's your choice.
     
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  3. Tophat1900

    Tophat1900 Type 3c · Well-Known Member

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    I do the same as urbanracer. Proper priming I think is important. I don't like the waste either, but that is just one of the flaws of pens imo.
     
  4. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    May I ask a silly question, please? Is priming the pen done to ensure that there is an unobtructed flow of insulin or to expel any air bubbles or both?
     
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  5. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
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    I would say both. The latter is more important on MDI because the correct dose for food is needed. For some people, 1/2 a unit of rapid acting, either way can make a big difference to the outcome.

    The OP is using a mixed insulin so I would argue that small dosing errors are less of an issue, and as a past user I never understood how accurate mixing takes place when you just roll the pen between your fingers a few times anyway.
     
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  6. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Thank you.
     
  7. Sugar High

    Sugar High Type 2 · Active Member

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    If the needle was clogged or defective so that nothing was coming out, wouldn't I be able to tell that? On my pen, the plunger moves as the insulin is ejected.

    I wasn't told to do it. But I have had some minor problems with sore fingers for a few days after taking a blood glucose reading. I started using alcohol before and after and that problem has largely gone away. And since I take a reading before every injection, it's easy to swap the injection site. I already have the alcohol bottle handy and open.
     
  8. Sugar High

    Sugar High Type 2 · Active Member

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    That is a great question, thanks.
     
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  9. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
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    I guess it would depend on the dose. Probably for you using Humilin, you would not be able to fully depress the plunger if you're injecting more than a couple of units.

    I have found in the past that if you're just dialling up a couple of units of rapid acting insulin, the free play in the plunger mechanism allows you to depress it without anything coming out.
     
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  10. Nyxks

    Nyxks Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    20+ years of injecting and have never used the wipes and reuse the needles (I know i shouldn't but 100 pen needs doesn't last 30 days unfortunately).

    What you are doing is good I prime with 2 units every time or half a unit if using a syringe.

    Good luck
     
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