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Using an Insulin Pen

ID: AND13011
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: This video will teach you how to inject your insulin using an insulin pen. Please watch the entire video before injecting your insulin. Your health care provider may recommend that you inject insulin using an insulin pen to help you control your blood sugar level. Most pens come prefilled with insulin and are disposable. When the insulin runs out you can throw the pen away. Some pens are reusable and come with an insulin cartridge that you load into the pen before using it. Injecting insulin with an insulin pen involves choosing an injection site, preparing and priming your pen, and then injecting the insulin into your body. Your health care provider will tell you what type of insulin you need, as well as when and how much you need to inject. You will need alcohol wipes, your insulin pen, a new needle for each injection, and a sharps disposal container. A disposable prefilled insulin pen has the following parts-- a pen cap, an insulin reservoir, a dosage indicator, a dosage dial, and an injection button. Insulin pen needles have a protective pull tab and an outer and inner needle cap. Be sure to follow the instructions that came with your insulin pen. Selecting the injection site. Before injecting your insulin, select the injection site on your body. The areas for insulin injection include the abdomen or belly, the thighs, upper arms, and the buttocks. When selecting the injection site, be sure you use a different spot each time you give yourself an injection. Leave at least one inch away from the last injection spot. Inject your insulin at least two inches from your belly button and choose a spot one inch or farther away from any scar or mole. Preparing the insulin pen. Step 1. Wash your hands with soap and water and then dry them. Step 2. Remove the cap from your insulin pen. Step 3. If your insulin needs to be mixed, gently roll the pen between your hands, then turn your pen up and down 10 times. Do not shake your pen because it may cause bubbles to form in your insulin. Before injecting yourself, check the insulin in your pen to make sure it is the type of insulin your doctor prescribed for you, it is not passed the expiration date, it is not discolored, and the insulin is free of clumps. Step 4. Use an alcohol wipe to clean the end of the pen where the needle attaches. Step 5. Remove the pull tab from the needle. Be sure to use a new needle each time you inject insulin. Step 6. With the outer and inner needle cap still in place, attach the needle to your pen according to the instructions. Remove both the outer and inner needle caps. Do not touch the needle or allow it to touch any surface, and do not use the needle if it is bent. A bent needle can block or prevent the insulin from coming out. Priming the insulin pen. Priming the insulin pen replaces the air in the needle with insulin and removes any clogs or blockages. This ensures that you receive all of the insulin you intend to inject. Step 1. Turn the dosage dial until you see two units displayed in the dosage indicator. Step 2. Hold the pen with the needle pointing up. Gently tap the end of the pen near the needle two or three times. Step 3. Press the injection button all the way in until a drop of insulin appears on the tip of the needle. You may need to repeat steps 1 through 3 before seeing insulin appear on the tip of the needle. If you need to set your pen down, make sure the needle does not touch anything. Injecting the insulin. Step 1. Turn the dosage dial to the number of insulin units you need to inject. Step 2. Clean your injection site with an alcohol wipe. Use a circular motion to clean a spot about two inches wide. Step 3. If you replaced your pen's inner needle cap, remove it now. Step 4. Pinch a two inch fold of skin in the cleaned injection spot. Step 5. Quickly insert the pen's needle straight into your skin at a 90 degree angle. Make sure the whole needle enters your skin. Step 6. Push the pen's injection button all the way down to inject the insulin into the fat tissue beneath your skin. Slowly count to 10 before removing the needle to make sure you injected all of the insulin. Step 7. Pull the needle straight out to remove it. Step 8. Carefully put the outer cap back onto the needle, and then turn the capped needle to remove it from the pen. Make sure you remove the needle after each injection. Never store your insulin pen with a needle attached. Step 9. Throw away the needle into your sharps disposal container. Never throw your needles directly into the trash. Contact your health care provider if you have questions about injecting your insulin or if your blood sugar level stays above or below your target range.
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