I am a newly diagnosed type 1 diabetic, and I am still totally clueless about some things. I use the pens , and I was just wondering if it is still possible to inject air bubbles into yourself , with the pens. I have one right now where I prime the needle and I still cant get the big bubble out!! It really aggravates me ,and makes me real nervous because I have heard that it can kill you . I know I sound really silly, but I am just curious. Any help out there? LOL!!!
Stephanie Keep the pen so the air goes towards the needle flick it a couple times till the bubble goes to the surface then prime it to expel it. You are injecting the insulin into your sub q (subcutaneous) portion of your skin tissue not into your veins a little air there wont hurt you but I would still try and get it all out of your pen.
Ok thanks , I really appreciate it .
Stephanie welcome!!! Sometimes those bubbles can be annoying. It is normal try and expell when possible but, do not let a bubble stress you. It is very common…I have been on for 6 months and learned lots by asking lots of questions. The more you know the better you can manage things.
I can’t get all bubbles out when I prime, so I just make sure it is near the plunger, not the needle, and leave the needle in my skin for several seconds before I pull the pen away. My bubble gets big the first few doses, then stays the same. I’d rather not waste insulin. I just squeeze a unit to fill the needle and have some spill out before I dial my dose.
I agree with Jessica, I don’t worry about air bubbles. I can never get rid of all of the bubble anyway. I’d have to waste half the cartridge to get it all.
I shoot a couple of units (this is called “shooting air”) to make sure my needle is filled with insulin and not air. Then I tilt my needle down, tap to move any remaining air towards the rubber plunger, and do the shot. I hold the needle in for 10 to 15 seconds. You’re supposed to do that to make sure that all the insulin goes in. As the plunger gets pushed it also gets squished, and needs a few seconds to recover its shape so it can finish pushing all of the dose out of the cartridge. If you pull the needle out right away, you always get a drop or two of insulin on the needle tip, which is part of your dose.
If your dose is small, say 10 units or so, you can leave the needle in for about 10 seconds. If its a bigger dose, then you should leave it in for about 15 seconds. I can’t recall which website said to do this, but it was either a pen maker or an insulin company. Either way, it seems to work.
G’day Stephanie. You’ve already got lots of good counsel which I totally agree with. I’ve been using pens for over ten years and like you I was initially concerned about the whole air bubble thing. And then, being Scot, I was concerned about wasting my insulin with an air shot. I’m not so concerned about either one of those anymore. If I see an air bubble I try to expel it. Even if it means wasting a couple units of insulin. But if I tap and shake and do the hula and the air bubble still won’t expel? Well, I’ll get it next time. As noted by others unless you’re injecting directly into an artery/vein - which isn’t easy mind you - air bubbles shouldn’t be a big concern. There are far more interesting things to pay attention to
Actually, that instruction to leave it in the skin is in the paper insert that comes with each box of my insulin pens.