How do I properly give an insulin shot?





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Published on Dec 17, 2009

If you care for someone with diabetes, you're probably wondering how to properly inject insulin

What you should know:
•Insulin shot should be at room temperature
•Have all materials ready to give the shot
•Check for air bubbles and inject at 90-degree angle to skin

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Hi, I'm Kenisha Carr and I'm a CVS pharmacist.
If you care for someone with diabetes, you're probably wondering how to properly give an insulin shot. First, get instructions from the doctor about what type of insulin to use, how often you'll need to inject it, and how to properly handle it.
When preparing the insulin shot, allow it to reach room temperature. Gather everything you'll need: the insulin bottle, a syringe with a new needle, an alcohol wipe, and an opaque, heavy-duty plastic container with a lid for discarding the syringe and needle when you're finished. Always wash your hands thoroughly. To fill the syringe, first wipe the rubber cover of the bottle with alcohol, and then prepare the syringe by pulling back on the plunger to fill the syringe with air. You want to fill the syringe with the same amount of air as the amount of insulin you'll need for that dose. Next, stick the needle through the rubber cover and into the top of the bottle. Press down on the plunger to inject the air into the bottle, and turn the bottle upside-down, making sure the tip of the needle is in the insulin. Pull back the plunger slowly until you have just a bit more insulin than you need for your dose. Check the syringe for air bubbles by holding it straight up and tapping it gently (the bubbles should rise up toward the insulin bottle). Your syringe is now ready for use.
Next, clean the injection site with alcohol and allow it to dry thoroughly. The belly, back of the upper arm, the upper buttocks, and outer thighs are good injection options, but remember to avoid the two inches of skin around the belly button. Pinch about an inch of skin. Hold the needle at a 90-degree angle to the skin and push it in completely. Once the needle is in place, slowly push on the plunger to inject the insulin. After the plunger is completely depressed, hold the needle in place for five seconds to prevent leaking, and dispose of the needle and syringe as soon as you're finished.
I hope this will help you when giving insulin shots. If you have any questions, talk to your CVS pharmacist. We're here to help.

Source: CVS Caremark Health Resources

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