April 25, 2013

Injecting through Clothes – Easy or Dangerous?


clothing-injections.According to a case report in Clinical Diabetes, injecting through your clothing may be easy but it may not be safe. We learn our lesson from a lady with T1D who chose to inject through her clothing and developed a mysterious infection on the skin.

After being seen by her primary care physician for a non-healing wound, she was referred to an infectious disease specialist who had treated her with several courses of antibiotics. Important details about this lady that would’ve helped the doctors is that she has T1D and her HbA1c was over 10%.

Finally, after a series of clinical, physical, and laboratory exams, she was asked whether the lesion was at the site of an insulin injection, she stated this was possible because she had injected insulin at various locations through her clothes throughout her life with T1D. Eureaka!

Non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are infections coming from an unidentified environmental source rather than human-to-human transmission. NTM have a rapid growth rate, fully maturing within 1-3 weeks. NTM has been implicated in a variety of infections, including ones resulting from injecting through clothing

A 1997 Diabetes Care study says that injection of insulin through clothing was as safe as, and more convenient than, the conventional injection technique requiring skin preparation.

Although the NTM hostess in this case report says she was advised to inject through her clothing, this is clearly not advisable today. This case report was published in the spring of 2013,not a 1997 issue of Diabetes Care. 

I am a realist. I know people take injections through clothing. It’s just safer to touchdown on bare skin before you poke through fabric.

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