Use Each Needle Only Once

needle reuse

Surgical instruments are no longer sterile after a single use and same is the case with insulin pen needles and syringes. Also, if you use the same needle repeatedly, it may not be able to do its job effectively. Hence, it is recommended to use it only once and dispose of safely, thereafter.

Risks of Re-Use

1. Sterile Needle and Safety

The needle is a product of precision engineering meant to administer insulin which is a life-saving medication for people with diabetes. It is designed to do its job well, only once. There is a risk of needles not being sterile after single-use[1] and can lead to infections.

Another incorrect practice is to share needles amongst individuals. In addition to the possibility of damaging the needle, the needle reuse puts patients in danger of contracting blood borne infections like hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV[5].

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2. Tissue Damage and Bleeding

Incorrect or multiple usage can cause damage to the needle and lead to blunting of the needle [2]. Distorted and bent needle results in more painful injection during reuse[2]. Blunt points can also cause tissue damage and bleeding. Also, reuse increases the risk of developing lumps and bumps at injection sites which can be a hurdle in the journey of good diabetes management[1,3,4].

3. Risk of Lipohypertrophy

The most common outcome of using the same needle multiple times is the formation of a lump under the skin[3,4]. Injecting into lumps and bumps can lead to erratic absorption of insulin causing hypoglycemia or fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

Watch This Video To Know About  The Safe Disposal Of Needles Post Use.

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1.Richard I.G. Holt. Textbook of Diabetes, Fifth Edition, Chichester, West Sussex, UK, Wiley Blackwell, 2017.

2.Frid AH, Kreugel G, Grassi G, et al. New insulin delivery recommendations. Mayo Clin Proc. 2016;91(9):1231-1255.

3.Blanco M, Hernández MT, Strauss KW, Amaya M. Prevalence and risk factors of lipohypertrophy in insulin-injecting patients with diabetes. Diabetes Metab.

4.Richard I.G. Holt. Textbook of Diabetes, Fifth Edition, Chichester, West Sussex, UK, Wiley Blackwell, 2017. 2016;91(9):1224-1230

5.Tandon N, Kalra S, Balhara YP, Baruah MP, Chadha M, Chandalia HB, et al. Forum for injection technique and therapy expert recommendations, India: The Indian recommendations for best practice in insulin injection technique, 2017. Indian J Endocr Metab 2017;21:600-17.

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