What do doctors and diabetes advisers recommend about needle changes?
Doctors and diabetes counselors also recommend changing pen needles before each use. The experts point out that in practice many patients underestimate the risks of multiple use. This statement is supported by international studies in our neighboring European countries, where the awareness of needle changes is much more pronounced than in Germany. People with diabetes behave particularly well in France and Holland: Here, the pen needle is used on average only one to a maximum of two times.
How often should the needle of the insulin pen be changed?
Pen needles are disposable products. Before each injection, a new needle should be placed. The multiple use of pen needles can cause a variety of problems. Among other things, re-used needles can enhance so-called lipohypertrophies. These are tissue changes with a visible at the puncture sites thickening of the tissue. In addition, multi-use pen needles can cause painful injections by dulling the needle rest.
What advantages does the patient have from the one-time use of pen needles?
The injection is generally less painful. On the one hand, the surface of the pen needle has an intact sliding film, on the other hand, there is no danger that the needle tip is already bent. This also minimizes the occurrence of lipohypertrophies and promotes more even absorption of insulin from the molded parts. This leads to a more stable blood sugar level in insulin therapy. Each time the pen needle is changed, residues of the previously injected insulin are avoided as crystalline residues, clogging the needle.
The frequent needle replacement causes additional costs for the patient and the healthcare system?
For diabetics who are prescribed pen needles by the doctor, there are no higher costs. The advantage for them and our healthcare system is, among other things, that blood sugar fluctuations as a result of lipohypertrophies can be better avoided. This leads to a calculable insulin supply and therefore favors a good control of blood sugar levels.
A good insulin therapy leads in the long term to a reduction of secondary diseases such as amputations, blindness, dialysis, etc. A consistent single use of pen needles could rather contribute to a long-term relief of the health insurance, as the costs for the treatment of complications of diabetes are reduced.