Vekkie's Diabetes Playground(16KB)

Last updated: Sat, 24 Jan 2009 19:33:48
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Draw insulin into syringe

Draw insulin into the syringe

Second Revision, Saturday, 17 January 2009; 17:52

Draw insulin into syringe

[gr10799-fillsyr.jpg] Draw insulin into the syringe
Photo by George Rauh

After injecting air, invert vial and syringe

When you invert vial and syringe, hold each steady. You can probably keep a finger somewhere on the narrower neck of the vial, to prevent it from slipping through your fingers.

Brace a finger of the hand that's holding the syringe against a wing at the top of the barrel, as shown in the picture. Notice that the top of the syringe barrel is at the bottom of the picture here! I brace against the wings at the top of the barrel (bottom of the picture), using my index finger. Holding the vial steady, make sure the needle of the syringe is "below the waterline," that is, that it is fully covered with the insulin in the vial.

Then, very slowly, begin to pull the plunger downward. I say slowly because doing it that way allows any air bubbles that may have started into the syringe to pop back up into the vial, without you doing anything else about it!

I pull the plunger downward using my thumb, with the index finger still braced against the wing. From this point, I continue pulling the plunger until I can see I have approximately the correct dose of insulin in the syringe.

If, incautiously, you have the syringe barrel markings and numbers facing the wrong direction, so you can't see them (of course, that has never happened to me; yeah, right), simply rotate the whole assembly till you can see the markers and the numbers (and don't ask me how I know that).

If you have to rotate the assembly, you could drop it, so I recommend doing this over a nicely padded surface, very close to the assembly - perhaps a thick towel lying on the counter or table.

I draw up more insulin than I will inject

DANGER! I draw up slightly more insulin than I will inject. I cannot use up a vial of Novolin NPH insulin before it reaches its expiry date - not the "shelf-life" date shown on the vial, which only means how long the insulin can be stored before the rubber stopper is punctured for the first time. Once the stopper is punctured, on first use, my vet says the vial is good for five to six weeks, and she prefers five weeks to six.

Therefore, I write the date of first puncture, with felt-tip marker, right on the vial, making sure not to cover up the shelf-life date on the label.

I also write the "opening" date on the box the insulin came in, where previously, I had written the purchase date. When I retire a vial, I write the retire-date on the box as well, and put the vial back in the refrigerator, to be used if absolutely necessary, as an emergency spare.

Novolin NPH insulin is a great deal cheaper than Caninulin or Vetsulin. Probably, if my Kumbi were on Caninsulin, I would only draw into the syringe as much insulin as I plan to inject. Then I would expel any air bubbles by flicking the barrel very lightly with a finger, while the needle was still inserted in the vial.

However, since I have the luxury of being able to throw away some of the insulin, I draw up slightly more than what I will inject.

The danger here is that I could forget to adjust to the correct dose before injecting Kumbi.

The next step, then, is to check and adjust the dose.

Vekkie Says!

Check all information with your vet!

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Reflecting Stars
INSULIN INJECTIONS. Injection time is sacrosanct time. Double-check your dose. When in doubt, check with your veterinarian. Dispose of hazardous waste safely. Insulin is extremely powerful stuff, and your dog or cat depends on you to pay attention when you inject.
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