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Giving an insulin injection

  • How to give an insulin injection

    Insulin is injected into the subcutaneous layer (fat layer) just underneath the skin. This is done by pinching up the skin and injecting the syringe or pen on an angle. For pen insulin this should be a 90 degree angle and for syringes a 45 degree angle.

    How to give an insulin injection using a pen device

    How to give an insulin injection using a syringe device

    Where do I give my injections and the importance of rotating your insulin injection sites?

    Insulin injection site rotation is extremely important in good diabetes management. It will help prevent lumps from forming under the skin and ensure good insulin absorption. If insulin is injected into the same spot repeatedly, fatty lumps will form. This is called Lipohypertrophy.

    Lipohypertrophy means that insulin will not be absorbed in the same way as healthy tissue and can lead to increased insulin doses and greater variation in BGLs.

    To prevent lipohypertrophy from developing, it is important to rotate injection sites.

    Sites that can be used for insulin injections include stomach, hips, arms and legs.

    Insulin injection sites on the body image

    • If your child has little or no fat tissue in the stomach area please do not use this area
    • Exercise increases insulin absorption so the arms and legs may need to be avoided on days when young people are very active with sport
    • If you are unsure where you should inject your child or if they have any changes to their skin, please contact your diabetes educator

    Below are examples of rotation strategies for the stomach area. Like the stomach area, these systems can be used for the arms, legs and hips as well

    site rotation

    Storage of insulin

    • Open insulin needs to be stored in a dry cool place and can be used for up to a month after opening
    • Unused insulin needs to be stored in the fridge
    • Direct sunlight, heat e.g. hot climates or inside a car on a sunny day, freezing or shaking can cause insulin to lose its effectiveness. If your insulin is exposed to these conditions, it should be thrown away and start a new insulin