Pen Insulin Use: Avoiding Common Venting Mistakes

Pen Insulin Use: Avoiding Common Venting Mistakes

Insulin Pen Venting Operation Mistakes: How Many Have You Encountered?

Insulin pens are commonly used insulin injection tools. To ensure the accuracy of insulin injection dosage, the air in the pen cartridge needs to be exhausted before injection. Many patients are prone to misunderstandings when performing venting operations, which leads to inaccurate insulin injection dosage and affects blood sugar control.

Common Mistakes in Insulin Pen Venting

Mistake 1: Exhausting Air Before Shaking Premixed Insulin

Before injecting premixed insulin, you need to shake well before exhausting. If you exhaust the air before shaking, the ratio of the remaining premixed insulin in the pen cartridge may be inconsistent with the original drug solution, affecting blood sugar control. For example, aspart insulin 30/70 is a mix of 30% aspart insulin (ultra-short-acting) and 70% protamine aspart insulin (intermediate-acting). If the air is exhausted before shaking, the discharged insulin solution may not be in the correct ratio, altering the effectiveness of the remaining insulin.

Mistake 2: Not Keeping the Insulin Pen Vertical

When exhausting, keep the insulin pen body vertical with the needle tip facing up to ensure the air in the pen cartridge is expelled. If the insulin pen is tilted, it can result in a large amount of insulin being discharged without effectively removing the air from the solution.

Mistake 3: Assuming Exhaust is Complete with a Small Drop of Insulin

Some insulin pen instructions specify that seeing a continuous stream of insulin indicates a successful exhaust. A small drop of insulin on the needle tip does not necessarily mean the air has been exhausted. At least a few drops of insulin need to be discharged continuously, especially when using a new pen cartridge or if the spiral rod of the insulin pen is displaced.

Mistake 4: Exhausting Only When Replacing a New Insulin Pen Cartridge

Exhausting should be done regularly, not just when replacing a new insulin pen cartridge. For instance, diabetic patients might unintentionally shift the insulin pen screw by disassembling the pen or the pen holder. Such shifts can occur in various situations, making it essential to exhaust air to ensure accurate insulin doses.

Insulin Injection: Preventing Needle Tip Leakage

Insulin injection accuracy is crucial for effective diabetes treatment. Many patients experience dripping at the needle tip after injection, which can reduce the injected insulin dose and affect blood sugar control. Studies show the probability of drug leakage after using an insulin injection pen is as high as 58.3%.

Causes and Solutions for Needle Tip Leakage:


Thin insulin pen needles and prolonged injection times.
Increased insulin doses slow down absorption rates.
Reuse of needles, which become blunt over time, worsening leakage.

Prolong the subcutaneous retention time of the insulin needle for at least 10 seconds before removing it.
Use needles with a thin-wall design to increase inner diameter without increasing discomfort.
Use each needle only once and discard it after each injection.
In some cases, even a 10-second retention time might not prevent leakage for large insulin doses. Researchers suggest holding the insulin pen and rotating it 360 degrees after injection to dislocate the skin and seal the needle eye, reducing leakage and better controlling blood sugar levels.

Insulin injection is a simple yet error-prone procedure. Nearly 90% of diabetic patients do not perform insulin injections in a standardized manner, which is closely related to blood sugar control. Patients should carefully read insulin injection instructions and follow the guidance of healthcare professionals. Regularly having specialists evaluate your injection technique can help identify and correct common mistakes, ensuring better diabetes management.

Note: This information is for educational purposes. Always follow your doctor's advice for treatment and medication.
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