Type 1 question: How many times do you use the same needle

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Gracie06
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 2/17/2006 10:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Just curious,
 
I take 4 shots a day and I'll use the same needle all day.  this horrified my mother and her nurse friends.  I've done this for YEARS though, just curious what other people do...

Warren
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 2/17/2006 10:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Gracie,
 
A lot depends on the gauge needle your using.  If you use the ultrafine 31g needles like I do; you definately don't want to use them twice as they dull dramtically after one use.  With a lesser gauge needle you can get away with more sticks before it dulls enough to become uncomfortable, but then you have to consider any insulin that may be left in the needle.  Do you want to inject this hours later along with the new insulin?? 
 
If you have insurance and they are paying for the needles....treat yourself and do one each time.  Remember, even wiping down a needle with Alcohol can dull it!  And if you inject through your clothes to avoid having to go to the restroom...well this only adds to dulling up the needle on the first use!
 
To sum it up, I don't see why you CAN'T use a needle more than once if you are reasonably sterile about how you do it, but if you don't have to from a financial standpoint...just don't.
 
scool Warren
It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not. - James Gordon, M.D.
What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease. - George Dennison Prentice

I can only please one person per day, today is not your day...tomorrow doesn't look good either.


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 2/17/2006 11:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Gracie,

I use the same needle about 5 times before discarding. I don't have insurance and have other health costs as well. (And, yes, Warren, I'm using those tiny needles and they still work :-) ) I understand the risk factors and do what I can to stay safe.

Problems could arise from skin borne bacteria contaminating the needle. If this should occur I would have just slid this little bug below my skin's protective layer into the subcutaneous layer where it could go bananas... Understanding this issue I clean my injection sites very well using two cotton swabs and alcohol. This isn't fool-proof and I still have left myself open to risk but it's the best I can do.

When the health insurance fairy drops by next time and cost isn't an issue I will certainly be back to single use of needles. It's the safest way to prevent infection.
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


Gracie06
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 2/17/2006 11:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the responses,
 
I'm currently in between health plans but will be on my fiances health plan after we're married in Sept.  (100% coverage of supplies! Can't wait)
 
As for the length of the needle I was using the short stubby ones for awhile then I read it was for meant for children.  Are their any problems with using the short ones? 

Gracie06
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 2/17/2006 11:34 AM (GMT -7)   
sorry one more thing, is the bit of insulin left in the needle really make that much of a difference in dosage for some people? I would never say I find that hard to believe but for me I really don't notice a difference either way. And is the discomfort the only concern with not reusing needles or can you damage your skin?

Gracie06
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 2/17/2006 11:41 AM (GMT -7)   
really though last thing, I will get the hang of this, I obviously missed the part in Jeanies post where she explained what else could happen. Now this is the part where I can enjoy my vague anonymity, I can honestly say I've reused needles to a ridiculous stretch and stopped wiping with alcohol for finger pricks and injection site something like 7 years ago. So how much of all the precautions are over precautions or do I need to immediately change my careless ignorant ways? My mom's argument is that just because I've gotten lucky let's say 10,220 times doesn't mean that my way is right. And as a "final note" I definately joined this forum to get better at managing my diabeties and in no way am I endorsing my personal behaviors. Just here to learn....

marina
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 4/11/2006 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been type 1 for 34 years.  My doctor even said it was okay to reuse a needle.  Wipe it with an alcohol swab and it's good to go.  You can't really get infected with something because it's you!  Nobody else has used it.  He didn't recommend it for long periods of time but I think 4 times a day is fine.  Then throw it out.  I, too, stopped swiping the injection spots years ago and have never had a problem.  I'm now on an insulin pump so don't have to worry about that anymore but I never had any bad side effects from it.  I only used the needles over when I was running low though.  It was so automatic to throw it out that I did it without thinking.  But when I ran low or was away on vacation, I would definitely use them over.  The doctor was the one who told me to, as a matter of fact.

Sunday
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 4/12/2006 7:38 AM (GMT -7)   
I re-use syringes also. My endo (ableit many years ago) said it wasn't a problem to re-use syringes, and I haven't asked about it since then. Infection risk isn't some sort of a "new" problem is it? Because it seems several of us have been told by our doctors in the past that it was okay. As for dulled needles, I think you can use them several times before it's even noticeable (at least for me).
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