Tuesday , March 21 2023

Many diabetics not informed about the use of the needle


Until she had children, Julie Feaunati felt she was well educated in treating type 1 diabetes.

After all, Sydneysider injected insulin from his teen years and, as technology developed, he had even learned to measure his own blood sugar levels and adjust the insulin he received.

So when the two children came together and life became agitated, seeing a doctor about her condition was not a priority and she passed at least eight years without verification.

"These years have just flown when you have small children and you are busy and working," said AAP, aged 45.

But when Mrs. Feaunati developed a strange fatty spot in her usual injection site, she referred to her GP.

She was told that the muscle under her skin is due to repeated injection of her on the spot, which she did not know, was such a risk.

A session with a diabetes educator helped her to figure out how much she fell behind her knowledge, not just about where to inject, but about those available.

Now it varies if she injects and uses pins of the right size for her, and it matters the very good fortune itself has not got worse.

"Something very bad happened, or I could have suffered long-term complications," she said.

But new research has shown that Ms. Feaunati is not alone in always best injection practice.

The study of 368 Australians with diabetes, backed by Becton Dickinson's medical technology company, found that 46% did not change their injection site every time.

Almost half (49 percent) are also reuse needles and only 44 percent are using shorter recommended needles.

The statistics, published on Wednesday, are not at all surprising for Michelle Robins, a long-term educator of diabetes with Victoria's Health.

Teaching good injection techniques is essential for her work, with problems like injecting insulin into muscle instead of fat – from using too long a needle – causing unexpected toes or blood sugar drops.

"That has a huge impact on everyone," she told the AAP.

Mrs. Robins said there are a number of reasons why people do not do the right thing, and it is important that people are not only taught what to do, but why they should.

But he said it is a good idea for diabetics to have at least one annual check with a specialist.

There are approximately 1.7 million Australians living with a form of diabetes, almost one third requires injections.

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