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When our 9 year old daughter was diagnosed with diabetes last year, we were taught to pinch the skin at the selected injection site, insert the needle at a 90 - 45 degree angle, release the skin and inject the insulin.

Recently I read in a Canadian Diabetes Association publication (In Sync) that the needle should be inserted at a 90 degree angle and the skin "should be lifted while injecting." I would welcome your comments and explanations to these slightly different injection techniques.


The reason for pinching or lifting the skin before inserting the needle is to reduce the chance of giving an intramuscular injection. Insulin injected into muscle tends to work more quickly and perhaps erratically than a subcutaneous injection. Whether you let go the skin or not before injecting probably doesn't make a lot of difference but I suspect the idea of letting to the skin first is that the needle track is then sort of Z shaped and may theoretically reduce the leakback that sometimes happens. Having said that, the amount of leakback has been shown to be independent of dose and technique by at least one group of investigators.


Original posting 29 Mar 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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