Injecting air into vial

Hi all

As you know I’m recently started on my Ping. I’m not the most mechanical person in the world so I just follow the insertion instructions step by step. There is the one instruction to pull back the plunger in the cartridge and then inject the air into the insulin vial so I do that every time but really don’t know the reason for it.

So the issue is that I’ve been running low on my Apidra vials because I didn’t know how much insulin would get wasted starting on the pump, but I still have lots of insulin in pens, so I decided to withdraw some from the pen with the cartridge needle. But I couldn’t inject air into the pen. So I just went ahead and skipped that part (I pushed the plunger all the way in - injecting air into…well air…lol

So, just curious, what is the purpose behind the injecting of air into the vial?

it’s just to equalize the pressure inside the vial to make it easier to get the insulin out

Oh, ok, so it really doesn’t hurt to skip it. I didn’t think it would, but wanted to make sure.

Thanks, marti

Injecting air has two effects. 1) it compresses air above the insulin in the vial so it is pushed out into the syringe. 2) By keeping the pressure in the vial nearly even with the air pressure outside the vial, contaminates and germs are not as likely to be “pulled” into the vial when the needle is moved through the rubber stopper.

Zoe, there are two ways to drain a pen: 1) pull out with the syringe, or 2) use the pen to shoot into the syringe in full dose from the pen.

Hope this helps.

Jay, I think what Zoe wanted to do was pull the insulin from her pen and put it in her pump cartridge. I tried filling that once with a syringe because it is a pain to try and get it out of the pen, but it just didn’t seem to work right.

I had some pens with the same insulin in them getting ready to expire, so I filled my pump cartridges from the pens. There are two ways I found to get the insulin out. The easiest was just pull it out with the cartridge/syringe and the pen plunger moved down - easy. However, If I wanted to use the other 100 or so units in the pen, the pen was rendered inoperable because the piston was not next to the plunger in the pen. So, I came up with giving the cartridge 60units 3 times followed by a 20 unit to reach 200 units into the cartridge.

Thanks for clarifying. What I was trying to say was you could “PULL” with the cartridge or “PUSH” with the pen when you had a cartridge and pen docked with the needle on the cartridge stuck into the nose of the pen.

BTW, Kelly, you always seem to have the “common sense” balanced needed in discussions here at TD.

Thanks, guys!

You need to inject the same volume of air as the insulin you are going to draw up. The reason is, if you don’t, you will eventually cause a vacuum in the vial making it nearly impossible to get the insulin out especially towards the end of the vial.

Thanks, Phil. I always have injected the air into the insulin vial, even though until now I didn’t know why. I was asking because when I extract insulin from the pen, I’m not able to do that. Since I have extra pens (and will be able to order more vials soon) I will just extract insulin from each pen as long as I can and then if it’s no longer possible, use another one.

Jay, I am not sure about the common sense! I am going to try using the pens again - I will save your instructions!