Injection aids are developed to make the delivery of insulin less painful and easier to administer.

This aspect of diabetes management can be difficult if you have a phobia of needles, issues with injecting or are nervous about the anticipated pain.

Everyone with type 1 diabetes needs to inject insulin to survive, while people with type 2 diabetes might be on injections of insulin or incretins to help control blood sugar levels.

Anyone who does inject knows that there can be a few fiddly bits involved. For example, you might need to change your needle , if not for each injection (which is advised) then perhaps on a daily basis.

Problems with injecting insulin

Your needle is attached to your insulin pen , which might be pre-filled (once used up, you dispose of that pen and start a new one) or use insulin cartridges.

With needles and pens, you need to have spares to hand – spare needles or a back up pre-filled pen or a spare insulin cartridge – you don’t want to run out.

Once you have your bits together, you might need some help with getting the job done.

Some people (the younger or the older among us) could have dexterity issues.

Getting those needles on and off can be a problem – plus, as they’re both pointy and sharp, there is a real possibility of small, unwanted puncture accidents happening.

This is where injection aids come into play.

Syringe magnifier

One type of injection aid is a syringe magnifier, which is designed for people with poor vision. Numbers and markings are enlarged on an insulin syringe to help users read the dosages on the syringe.

A syringe magnifier also makes bottle and syringe easier to hold, and helps to guide the syringe needle into the rubber stopper.

Syringe-filling device

A syringe-filling device allows users to load syringes by touching the device, which often will have a push button that automatically injects for you.

This type of aid is designed to make using insulin needles and syringes much easier and less painful to use.

Jet injectors

Jet injectors deliver a fine spray of insulin using a high-pressure mechanism, replacing a needle to penetrate the epidermis.

Once an insulin dose has been loaded, the injector is placed against the skin and user press a trigger, with the high pressure guiding the insulin into the penetrated skin so it reaches the subcutaneous tissue.

What injection aids are available in the UK?

Injection aids are essentially items that can help you with doing injections.

Injection Aid Manufacturer Description
Buzzy MMJ Labs Reduces the pain of injection insulin by distracting the user, the sensation of the needle is diminished by the combination of cold and vibration
BD Magni-Guide BD Syringe and vial holder that magnifies markings and assists with stability when drawing insulin
Securitee Blanket Regato Enterprises Fits around an insulin vial to assist with grip, and makes the vial unlikely to break if dropped
Inject-Ease AmbiMed Inc Place your loaded syringe in the device and put the tip against your skin. Upon pushing a butto, the needle automatically goes through the skin
Safe Shot Borin-Halbich Guides the plunger of a syringe and can be preset to draw the same insulin dose each time
Autoject 2 Owen Mumford Automates insulin injecting using a variety of syringes to help people with dexterity problems
Insuflon Applied Medical Technology A catheter which is inserted into the skin and delivers all injections for periods of up to five days.
ShotBlocker Bionix Medical Technologies Reduces needle pain and anxiety associated with injections.

Other available injection aids (currently not available in the UK):

Injection Aid Manufacturer Description
I-Port Injection Port Medtronic Once the needle is inserted, a cannula remains in the skin and eliminates the need for skin punctures for up to three days. Only available by prescription
Phone Monocle Magnifics A rubber sleeve with a magnifying lens inserted into it provides magnification up to 250 percent to help those with vision problems
Syringe Magnifier Apothecary Doubles the magnification of marking by clipping on to any standard syringe barrel
Count-A-Dose Prodigy A syringe is placed in the device so that the needle inserts into an insulin bottle. A unit of insulin is drawn with each dial click
Insul-Eze AmbiMed Inc One-piece syringe magnifier that holds syringe and insulin bottles in place for visual aid
Injection Safety Guard Apothecary Protects the hand holding the insulin vial from accidental needles sticks with a cap that fits over the vial
Insul-cap AmbiMed Inc Has a needle guide to direct the syringe when loading it with insulin, preventing broken needles

As you can see, there are several products available to help with the issue of injecting insulin. You should contact the manafacturing company as a matter of urgency if you experience any problems with your insulin injection aid.

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