1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2021 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Reusing needles

Discussion in 'Insulin' started by Gonna, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. Gonna

    Gonna Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    I am newly diagnosed and have been given conflicting advice about reusing needles - both lancets and needles for the insulin pens. The diabetes nurse said "I have to tell you to change them every time". Everyone else seems to reuse within 24 hours. What should I do? Anne



    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  2. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

    Messages:
    18,448
    Likes Received:
    27,584
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Hello and welcome Anne

    I have been told to use the injection needles only once ,as reusing them again blunts them. I do reuse the lancets.

    Best wishes RRB
     
  3. scottish-jim

    scottish-jim Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    615
    Likes Received:
    3,829
    Trophy Points:
    158
  4. johnipswich

    johnipswich · Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    If you are on insulin or other injectables you get free prescriptions so do not reuse anything, lancets or needles.yes you can but why would you? Every packet advises not to so please follow the instructions.

    I can understand if you pay for lancets etc to cut the cost.
     
  5. xAoifex

    xAoifex Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    255
    Trophy Points:
    103
    I do reuse needles, I put a new one on both of my pens each morning so my basal gets 2 uses/needle and my bolus a minimum of 3 (sometimes up to 5 or 6) I take 1 spare needle out with me incase of any issues (I have also on occasion had to swap the needle from my levemir to my rapid before when I messed up and bent the needle!)

    I just can't be bothered to spend the time changing them each time or having to dispose of them whilst out and about. I want to carry as little as possible with me.

    I know that this is not what the healthcare professionals advise but it works well for me.
     
  6. Gonna

    Gonna Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Thanks for your replies RRB and Scottish-jim. They were very helpful. I read the info on the link and I think I'll use the needles once only. It's not worth the risks even if it costs the nhs more and there is enough to worry about just getting used to it all. Thanks. Anne


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  7. Thundercat

    Thundercat · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,406
    Likes Received:
    287
    Trophy Points:
    103
    I reuse needles but was told not to reuse lancets because there is blood left on them and it can influence the next test.

    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  8. Gonna

    Gonna Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Bent needles? No, I don't think I'll risk it. It wasn't the cost to me that concerned me but to the nhs. My son had trained me well. He was a health care assistant who was very aware of tight nhs budgets. When his GP tried to call an ambulance to take him to hospital with leukaemia (of which he later died) he insisted on walking to the hospital although he could hardly stand. I'm not as brave or maybe stupid as that but I do try to be careful.


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  9. xAoifex

    xAoifex Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    255
    Trophy Points:
    103
    take into consideration that the link also contained several adverts for the purchase of needles, no company who sells things like this is going to advocate reuse, it's just not business!

    The only reason I bent the needle was because I was careless replacing the cap, nothing to do with injecting!

    At the end of the day it's your choice, just do what you feel comfortable with
     
  10. angieG

    angieG Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    68
    I was told not to leave a needle on the pen as this may cause the seal in the insulin cartridge or pen seal to become contaminated or could allow air into the insulin.
    I always use new needles but re-use lancets until they feel blunt.

    Angie
     
  11. Jakelanning

    Jakelanning · Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    I have always been told never to reuse needles as this can cause other issues like bluntness and them hurting when they are used more than once.


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  12. MCMLXXIII

    MCMLXXIII Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,816
    Likes Received:
    201
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Just to clarify.
    If i was type 1 i should be using a fresh needle yes?
    So as type 2 is it equally important for my lancet to be "fresh" every time? (Accuchek mobile)'.
     
  13. picklebean

    picklebean Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    69
    Trophy Points:
    68

    Err, yes... it doesn't make any difference if you're type 1 or 2 - the same principal applies.


    And to Gonna - this recent thread on the type1 section of the board might interest you


    It is SO IMPORTANT to change your needle every time! it is not worth the long-term risk to re-use them!!
     
  14. MCMLXXIII

    MCMLXXIII Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,816
    Likes Received:
    201
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Ok pickles;-)thanks.
    A fresh prick every time. I've got loads in the cupboard anyway.:grin:
     
  15. BobCornelius

    BobCornelius · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Just to throw my thoughts in;

    I am a healthcare professional, I work in Operating Theatres. I do not re-use needles for anything, they are all designed to be single use!!

    The reason lancets come with a warning not to share, is that they become blood conatminated on first use, so this could affect readings on later tests with the same lancet! It could also, potentially, lead to infection, as the contaminated lancet festers!

    Insulin pen needles are designed for single use, will have been in contact with tissue as you inject and so contaminated. Surgical scalpels go blunt after several uses on skin, needles will do the same! Leaving a needle on a pen could allow air and contaminants to be entrained into the insulin! Repeated use of the same needle could cause it to break off!

    I personally don't see that saving the NHS a few pence on the cost of needles compares to having a subsequent infection or problem treated! If things are designed to be single use, you are on your own if you reuse them!

    :)

    Bob
     
  16. Gonna

    Gonna Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Thanks Picklebean, I've been following the other thread. Your photos should be enough to convince anyone to change needles! I'm just appalled that healthcare professionals are not all convinced. I was advised by nurses on the diabetes ward when I was in hospital two weeks ago that 'everyone reuses up to 24 hours and it's quite safe'. Then the nurse at my GP practice said the same. The diabetes nurse who showed me how to use the equipment implied the same but said she had to tell me to use needles only once. There seems to be a huge training gap here! Anne


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  17. Gonna

    Gonna Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Sorry BobCornelius, obviously not all healthcare professionals! Anne


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  18. BobCornelius

    BobCornelius · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
  19. slimtony

    slimtony · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Hi,

    One of the main reasons not to reuse needles is contamination (like BobCornelius already said).

    A clean needle wound will heal faster and leave less scar tissue. If you reuse needles, you run the risk of increasing the amount of scar tissue that can building up over time and cause problems with insulin absorption.
     
  20. picklebean

    picklebean Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    69
    Trophy Points:
    68

    There seems to be a huge training gap / information gap / common sense gap among so many diabetes health care professionals or HCPs in general - it's a bit of pot luck as to whether you get a forward thinking one or not. Needles were traditionally used many times in the past but as with many things, we learn more and adjust common practice accordingly. I think it takes a while for everyone to catch up and adjust their thinking.

    I'm sure the needle manufacturers also have a role to play in encouraging single use, but that's just my cynical side talking! :lol:
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook