What happens if the hypodermic needle is used again?
The needle is no longer sterile. The tip becomes dull, can bend, break off and get stuck in the patient's skin. The silicone protection film of the needle tip is completely rubbed off by the reuse, and the injections become painful. Bleeding may occur at the injection site and hematomas may develop. The insulin remaining inside the cannula may crystallize out, and the opening of the needle is plugged at the next injection.
What are the medical risks of reusing needles?
- During reuse, the tip bends in the form of a hook.
- Injecting with such a deformed needle damages the tissue and causes the tiniest of injuries.
- Growth factors are released and, in combination with insulin, lead to the formation of fatty growth (lipohypertrophies).
What are the consequences of these lipohypertrophies?
- Lipohypertrophies bruise the skin.
- Patients often inject into these areas because the injection is painless there.
- Insulin absorption in the fatty growths, however, is such that the blood sugar level is not controllably changed.
How often can the needle be reused until it is damaged?
- The tip may be damaged after the first injection.
- The microscopically fine outer end of the tip can even be broken off upon excessive reuse.
- This can lead to the accumulation of tiny pieces of metal that seep under the skin in patients who regularly reuse the needle. The medical consequences of it are not yet known today.