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Insulin: difficulties that may arise during injection
INSULIN: DIFFICULTIES THAT MAY ARISE DURING INJECTION
Bubbles in the syringe when drawing up.
You should avoid bubbles in the syringe because they will lead to error in the correct measurement of the dose. Actually a few bubbles of air accidentally injected under the skin are not dangerous.
To get rid of bubbles, with the needle tip below the surface of the insulin, hold the syringe vertical, pointing up, and tap the side gently with your finger, so the bubbles come to the top. Now inject them into the bottle and draw the plunger back again. Repeat if necessary.
If using a mixture of two insulins, and bubbles enter when the second insulin is being withdrawn, you must discard the insulin and start again. This is unlikely to happen unless the tip of the needle is above the surface of the insulin in the bottle.
Air may also enter the syringe if the plunger is allowed to move while transferring the needle from the first to the second bottle of insulin.
Check these points if air has entered the syringe.
Leakage of insulin
Some insulin is 'lost' during injection.
If it happens, try to judge how much was lost. If only a small proportion is lost, do nothing, but if blood glucose levels become high during the day, phone your doctor in case a supplementary dose before tea is needed. If a lot is lost, and you are using single insulin (not a mixture) draw up an amount of insulin about half of what you think you lost, and give this. Then watch the blood tests during the day as above. If a mixture is being given it is usually better to give nothing else at the time, but to give a supplement of insulin at night. Contact your doctor or the clinic to discuss this. If you feel almost all the dose was lost, start again, but give a little less in case some did inject. It is always better to give a little less, and then a supplement during the day, than too much and risk a hypoglycemic reaction.
A skin lump
A superficial lump comes up in the skin while injecting. You are not injecting deeply enough. Perhaps you are entering the skin at too shallow an angle and sliding just under the skin. Push the needle in deeper. If this problem recurs, discuss your injection technique with your doctor or nurse.
Redness around the injection site
Occasionally an allergy may develop to the insulin, and this can lead to a rash or merely redness (like an insect bite) where the injection was given.
This may not affect the way the insulin works so that it is not an urgent problem, but if it persists or recurs discuss it with your doctor.
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