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From Kentucky, USA:

I received, in the mail, an advertisment for the B-D Pen Needle and the Syringe with Ultra-fine II short needle. It gives a warning to consult with your healthcare professional before using any 5/16 inch needle (I had planned to anyway), and carefully monitor your blood glucose when changing to a shorter needle. Why would the shorter needle make such a difference? Thanks.


The shorter length of the needle may cause a slightly different rate of absorption of insulin, since the insulin will be injected into a slightly lesser depth of subcutaneous tissue. As such, I'd advise either using the short needles all the time, or not at all.

By the way, some people have been trained to inject at a 45-degree angle. The short needles sometimes seem to be too short for people if they had been trained to inject at an angle, rather than "straight in" perpendicular to the skin. If injecting at an angle, which tends to be an inconsistent angle from one shot to the next, when using the short needles the insulin may end up in the dermis layer (skin) rather than subcutaneous fat where we want the insulin to go. The trick is to retrain these folks to inject at a right angle to the skin surface, or (as discovered by my patients) to use the Inject-Ease® with the 30 tip and 50 unit syringes, which forces a straight-in 90-degree angle and works fine with the shorter needles.


Original posting 22 Jan 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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