November 28, 2013

Sharing is Caring, Except with Insulin Pens


sharing-pensThe insulin pen is a fine device to serve the needs of people with diabetes but to each his own is probably the better way to go when it comes to sharing. Sharing is great, most of the time but a study published in Diabetes Care has a few things to point-out about sharing insulin pens.

Insulin pens are a crowd pleaser because they are easy, accurate, and take the cake for convenience. If you have a peer group of people who inject insulin with a pen, is it totally cool if you share an insulin pen? It’s not like you’re sharing needles, right?

Sharing insulin pens isn’t quite the same thing as lending somebody a writing tool. The things we don’t think about when sharing insulin pens are the potential back-flow of blood and other biologic materials that the insulin pen can house.

For what it’s worth, it’s noteworthy to mention the ground rules of insulin pen use. Insulin pens should never be used for more than one person, even when the needle is changed.That’s nonnegotiable.

For those of us who store Insulin pens in places other than the privacy of our own home, they should be clearly labeled with the person’s name or other identifying information to ensure that the correct pen is used exclusively on one individual.

If you think you may have cross contaminated an insulin pen, you may want to see a medical professional to be evaluated for blood borne pathogens. Sharing is caring but sharing insulin pens, knowing this, is careless.

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