Insulin Injection Aids
There are a number of injections aids have been develop to help injections become easier and less painful. Insulin injections can be one of the most difficult aspects of successful diabetes management with many scared or nervous about needles and the anticipated pain.
Injection aids are essentially items that can help you with doing injections.
How many people inject?
Everyone with Type 1 diabetes and at least 300,000 people with type 2 diabetes do daily injections.
Type 1 diabetics need to inject insulin to survive, while people with Type 2 diabetes might be on insulin injections rather than other medications or on one of the newer ‘injectable’ medications, such as Victoza or Byetta.
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. Some people only change needles every few days or so, or when it ‘starts to hurt’. If you are a multiple daily injector, then you may change your needles more than daily.
It all comes down to what works for you, but a little more frequency would be better for your skin as new needles are sharper and consequently cause less pain.
For people who are nervous about insulin injections, an automatic injector is the obvious solution to make the injection process less painful.
Another type of injection aid is a syringe magnifier, which enlarges the numbers and markings on an insulin syringe to help those with poor sight.
A syringe magnifier also makes bottle and syringe easier to hold, and helps to guide the syringe needle into the rubber stopper.
How to injection aids work?
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.
So what insulin injection aids are available?
As you can see, there are several products available to help with the issue of injecting insulin. As well as the above, there are additions that fit onto your syringe in order to make the process easier.
Assisting the injection process
Novo Penmate (which can only be used with Novopens) replaces part of a NovoPen with a larger body which hides the needle prior to injection. At the press of a button the PenMate is triggered that inserts the needle automatically.
Autoject 2 has been specially designed for those who have difficulty injecting with a syringe - so people with small hands or dexterity issues, such as children and seniors, or others with arthritis for example. At the touch of a button, Autoject 2 automatically inserts the needle and contents of the syringe into the skin without you having to see the needle.
If you use syringes, there is another device along these lines. With the Inject-Ease you put your loaded syringe in, place the tip against your skin, and press the button to automatically deliver the needle through the skin. The needle is covered so you don’t see it, which helps if you have a fear of needles.
The fact that is uses just one button means it can be used even by those who have limited dexterity. The fact that is can be used with one hand means you can inject virtually anywhere you want to.
Disposing OF your needles
Then you need to ‘neutralise’ it so it can’t do anyone any harm. One way to do this is with the Clip’n’Store, a safe, easy way to remove used insulin pen and syringe needles
It cuts syringe and pen needles and stores them in a large capacity reservoir. An almost identical product is available from BD called the BD Needle Remover.
Novofine Needle Remover
However, there is also another format for these, which actually involves taking the needle off the end of the pen, not just the needle shaft.
The Novofine Needle Remover is a special cap fits over the needle on the end of your insulin pen and neatly grips it so you can twist it off without having to use your fingers directly.
Once the needle is off, you press a button on the needle remover to eject the needle which pops out, ideally straight into a sharps bin that you have to hand. This is available on prescription although there is a similar pen needle remover that comes free inside every box of Unifine pen needles from Owen Mumford.