How to give an insulin injection to yourself at home

how to give yourself insulin with syringe


Diabetes is a serious illness that requires close attention and daily treatment. If you’re caring for an aging or ill relative or a child who has the disease, diabetes management may be one of your duties. You’ll have to check that person’s blood sugar levels and make sure he gets a healthy diet. And if he needs insulin shots, you’ll have to learn how to use a needle.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. It breaks down glucose from the bloodstream and into cells.  This is use to produce energy. People with diabetes either can’t produce any insulin at all (type 1). Or their bodies can’t produce enough (type 2). Due to this, they need to inject synthetic forms of the hormone on a daily basis.



Also, they need to manage their diet and exercise. If you are a diabetic or have a child with diabetes and need insulin on a regular basis, you need to learn how to inject it properly. Make sure to consult with your doctor for a demonstration before you attempt to give an injection. To add to, ask about proper dosage and your options for insulin delivery.

Where do I inject insulin?

You can inject insulin into your abdomen, upper arm, buttocks, hip, and the front or side of the thigh. Do not inject into areas where you have a wound or bruising. Because, when it is injected into wounds or bruises may not get into your body correctly. Furthermore, rotate the site each time you inject.

Can i reuse insulin syringe?

For example, inject insulin into different areas in your abdomen. Insulin injected into the same area can cause lumps, swelling, or thickened skin.

How to inject insulin using syringe

Here are the basic steps for giving yourself an insulin injection.

  1. Before giving yourself or your child shots, you need to gather together your:
  • little insulin bottle (vial),
  • syringe,
  • container for used syringe and
  • alcohol pads.

Check the label to make sure you have the right kind of insulin. Because it’s available in short-acting, intermediate and long-acting varieties. Ask your doctor to explain what type is best for you.

2. Take the insulin out of the fridge. Check the type and expiry date. Insulin that is not being used should be kept in the fridge. The one that is currently being used can stay at room temperature for up to a month on average.



3. Wash both of your hands and the area to be injected with regular soap. Rinse off the soap residue with water. You do not need to wipe the area with alcohol, although this was recommended in the past.

4. Choose where to give the shot. It should be injected into the fatty tissue just below your skin. The most common injection sites are areas that tend to have a good layer of subcutaneous fat, such as the abdomen, thigh, buttocks or underneath the upper arm.

5. Wipe the rubber cover of the insulin bottle with alcohol. Pull back on the plunger to fill the syringe with air. The amount of air in the syringe should match the amount of insulin you need to inject. If you’ll be giving or taking eight units, for example, pull back the plunger until you have eight units of air.

Are you following or confused? Well lets continue!

6. Pull the needle out of the bottle. Tap the syringe so air bubbles go to the top and they can be pushed out. Push the plunger enough to flush out the bubbles, and you should now have the right amount of the drug in the syringe. Double-check to make sure you have the correct dosage.

7. The site should be clean and dry — wash it with soap and water (not alcohol). Pinch your skin and fat together and gently pull it away from underlying muscle. Hold the insulin syringe the same way you would hold a pencil. Keep your grip close to the needle end so that the syringe is easier to control.

8. Insert the needle from the syringe at a 90-degree angle into the skin. Push the plunger to inject the insulin into the fat layer just under the skin.

Insulin injection sites

9. Do not remove the syringe immediately. Because it increases the chance of leakage. Slowly count to five and remove the needle. Finally, dispose of the syringe in the proper sharps container.

All of this can be a lot to remember, so going over injection techniques and the different injection systems with a diabetes educator can be very useful for anyone responsible for shots.

Can I reuse my syringe?

No! It is not advisable because, you may increase your risk for infection when you reuse syringes. However, ask your healthcare provider if it is safe for you to reuse a syringe.



About felclinic 593 Articles
Felix Ntifo is a Registered General Nurse who has so much passion to improve health care delivery. He founded FelClinic with the hope of making health information accessible to everyone who may not come in contact with him personally. "At felclinic.com we are very passionate about health and well-being of everyone. Our team is made up of professional doctors, nurses, midwives and lab technicians."

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