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Long Lost Member
danielfox
Total Posts: 7
Registered on: ‎07-11-2010

Blood in insulin

Does blood mixed with insulin compromise the integrity of the insulin? A health care professional told me that if a flexpen inadvertently aquires blood inside it which mixes with the insulin that I should throw out the flexpen and use a fresh flexpen. I understand that, on occasion, the needle hits a blood vessel which causes blood to backup into the insulin. Insulin is much too expensive to just throw out unused insulin, hence, I am asking anyone out here if they have had a similar occurence and, if so, what did you do?
Established Advisor
juliam1969
Total Posts: 1,815
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Blood in insulin

Im not sure about that Daniel. I would think it would because the blood would break down in the insulin. I know I have used the same needle more than one time and have gotten a back flow of blood in the needle so then I throw away the needle so I don't contaminate the insulin vial. I use vials not the pens. You could call the pharmacy but I would think they would say that it is no good.

Julia
Julia
I have been diabetic since my teens, type 2. I produce no insulin of my own so I take Lantus and Humalog daily.
I have several severe diabetes related complications, Gastroparesis, peripheral neuropathy of both arms and legs, autonomic neuropathy involving internal organs and blood vessels, kidney damage, HTN, vision issues. I also have COPD and severe Asthma. I am a uterine cancer survivor and had a TAH BSO at 35. I have had genetic blood work done that shows my neuropathy issues are hereditary and would of occurred even without diabetes. I also have very severe depression and anxiety. When not on my "mental health meds" I am not a very nice person and am good at alienating everyone around me including myself.
Contributor
kdroberts
Total Posts: 461
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Blood in insulin

I would think the chances of that happening with a pen is almost 0 due to the way they are made. With syringes maybe but then you would only be throwing away a few units.
Advisor
Brenda8859
Total Posts: 1,771
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Blood in insulin

Daniel Fox (7/11/2010)
Does blood mixed with insulin compromise the integrity of the insulin? A health care professional told me that if a flexpen inadvertently aquires blood inside it which mixes with the insulin that I should throw out the flexpen and use a fresh flexpen. Insulin is much too expensive to just throw out unused insulin, hence, I am asking anyone out here if they have had a similar occurence and, if so, what did you do?


I've used insulin pens for over a year now and this has never happened to me. I inject 5 times a day, never a problem. I don't see how it could happen, really. The pens are dialed up with the correct dosage, then when you push down on the end to inject, it stays there and does not pull back. That said, if somehow it did happen and I saw red in my pen, I would discard it immediately. I always check the pen before injecting, looking for cloudiness, floaters, etc. Can't be too cautious. Brenda
"Life is a classroom.  We are both student and teacher.  Each day  is a test and each day we receive a passing or failing grade in one particular subject:  GRACE".
Long Lost Member
stevoreno0655
Total Posts: 95
Registered on: ‎06-25-2010

Blood in insulin

brenda8859 (7/12/2010)
Daniel Fox (7/11/2010)
Does blood mixed with insulin compromise the integrity of the insulin? A health care professional told me that if a flexpen inadvertently aquires blood inside it which mixes with the insulin that I should throw out the flexpen and use a fresh flexpen. Insulin is much too expensive to just throw out unused insulin, hence, I am asking anyone out here if they have had a similar occurence and, if so, what did you do?




I've used insulin pens for over a year now and this has never happened to me. I inject 5 times a day, never a problem. I don't see how it could happen, really. The pens are dialed up with the correct dosage, then when you push down on the end to inject, it stays there and does not pull back. That said, if somehow it did happen and I saw red in my pen, I would discard it immediately. I always check the pen before injecting, looking for cloudiness, floaters, etc. Can't be too cautious. Brenda
Is the pen painful or about the same as using a lancet to get blood out of your fingers to test each morning? Are doctors prescribing the pens for diabetic patients rather than insulin injected with a needle?
When I go to the doctor for labs I can't watch while they draw my blood, I have to look away, I cannot watch. Same goes for my once a year shot in my knee, I don't watch the doc do that one either.
Established Advisor
juliam1969
Total Posts: 1,815
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Blood in insulin

stevoreno0655 (7/13/2010)
Is the pen painful or about the same as using a lancet to get blood out of your fingers to test each morning? Are doctors prescribing the pens for diabetic patients rather than insulin injected with a needle?

When I go to the doctor for labs I can't watch while they draw my blood, I have to look away, I cannot watch. Same goes for my once a year shot in my knee, I don't watch the doc do that one either.

Stevo, the best way to avoid using insulin and giving shots is to do all you can to keep your blood glucose as low as possible with diet and exercise. Of course over time your diabetes could progress to needing insulin, but if you control it with diet and exercise you could go many years before that.

Julia
Julia
I have been diabetic since my teens, type 2. I produce no insulin of my own so I take Lantus and Humalog daily.
I have several severe diabetes related complications, Gastroparesis, peripheral neuropathy of both arms and legs, autonomic neuropathy involving internal organs and blood vessels, kidney damage, HTN, vision issues. I also have COPD and severe Asthma. I am a uterine cancer survivor and had a TAH BSO at 35. I have had genetic blood work done that shows my neuropathy issues are hereditary and would of occurred even without diabetes. I also have very severe depression and anxiety. When not on my "mental health meds" I am not a very nice person and am good at alienating everyone around me including myself.
Super Advisor
Talvie
Total Posts: 3,377
Registered on: ‎10-30-2009

Blood in insulin

stevoreno0655 (7/13/2010)


When I go to the doctor for labs I can't watch while they draw my blood, I have to look away, I cannot watch. Same goes for my once a year shot in my knee, I don't watch the doc do that one either.


Steve, I'm probably the world's biggest chicken when it comes to sharp pointy things. I don't much care for the finger sticking either, but when I get blood draws, like you, I don't look. I figure someone has to look, but it doesn't have to be me!

And I hope for both our sakes that we never need to find out how to use pens or syringes, but you know what? It's a tool, and if I ultimately need that particular tool, I'll use it. I won't have to like it...but if that's what it takes, that's what it takes.

From all I've heard from insulin users here, the pens don't hurt any more -- or even as much -- as the finger sticks. So, no fear!

Talvie


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." Anais Nin
Diagnosed December 13, 2000 w/A1c of 7.6. June 2014 A1c 5.6 Controlling with diet and exercise starting today.
Super Advisor
Talvie
Total Posts: 3,377
Registered on: ‎10-30-2009

Blood in insulin

Daniel Fox (7/11/2010)
Does blood mixed with insulin compromise the integrity of the insulin? A health care professional told me that if a flexpen inadvertently aquires blood inside it which mixes with the insulin that I should throw out the flexpen and use a fresh flexpen. I understand that, on occasion, the needle hits a blood vessel which causes blood to backup into the insulin. Insulin is much too expensive to just throw out unused insulin, hence, I am asking anyone out here if they have had a similar occurence and, if so, what did you do?


I would think they might be concerned about blood contamination of the insulin in the pen, if it gets in there. It can't be good to have decomposing blood molecules in anything you have to use more than once. Particularly if it's not refrigerated. It would be like having spoiling meat in something you planned to eat...not to be gross.

Talvie


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." Anais Nin
Diagnosed December 13, 2000 w/A1c of 7.6. June 2014 A1c 5.6 Controlling with diet and exercise starting today.
Long Lost Member
danielfox
Total Posts: 7
Registered on: ‎07-11-2010

Blood in insulin

Talvie,

I had not thought about blood decomposing in the insulin as a reason for professionals to recommend throwing out the entire pen, but I do refrigerate the pens (even if the blood had gotten into the insulin), so maybe it won't be so bad to use
Super Advisor
Talvie
Total Posts: 3,377
Registered on: ‎10-30-2009

Blood in insulin

How long would you be keeping it refrigerated? Even refrigerated things have a time frame to be used, once opened. I guess what I'm asking is: how long will it be before you use the insulin up?

Talvie


"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." Anais Nin
Diagnosed December 13, 2000 w/A1c of 7.6. June 2014 A1c 5.6 Controlling with diet and exercise starting today.