ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2019) 63 P552 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.63.P552

The reuse of insulin needles: a problem with consequences (about 1000 cases)

Soukaina Laidi1,2,3, Siham El Aziz1 & Asmaa Chadli1


1Service d’Endocrinologie, Diabétologie et Maladies Métabolique, CHU Ibn Rochd, Casablanca, Morocco; 2Laboratoire de Neurosciences et Santé Mentale, Casablanca, Morocco; 3Faculté de médecine et de pharmacie-Université Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco.


Introduction: Changing needles and syringes when injecting insulin is often included in recommendations on injection techniques and in education sessions. The objective of our study was to evaluate the rate of insulin needle reuse and its consequences.

Materials and methods: We conducted a prospective study including any diabetic insulin-treated patient for more than 6 months, followed up at the service between February 2015 and June 2017. Patients responded to a questionnaire about the habit needle use. The variables studied were: the vectors used, the number of uses, the number of hypoglycemias. The clinical examination examined for the presence of lipodystrophies. Hypoglycemia has been defined as blood glucose less than or equal to 0.70 g/l. The statistical analysis was performed by the SPSS software.

Results: During the period mentioned, 1000 insulin patients were included, with a sex ratio of 2F/1H. The average age was 42±20 years. The average age of diabetes was 9.6 years (from 6 months to 37 years). Insulin therapy’s average duration was 5.7 years (6 months to 37 years). Diabetes types were type 2 diabetes in 60% of patients, type 1 diabetes in 38% and LADA in 2%. The most commonly used vector was the insulin syringe in 92% of patients, followed by the pen in only 8%. Regarding the number of needle use: 3% of patients used the needle less than 4 times, 43% between 4 and 6 times, 42% between 6 and 10 times, and 11% of patients 10 times or more. The rate of needle use was correlated with the presence of lipodystrophies; 61% of patients with lipodystrophy used needles more than 6 times with P=0.0000004, this lipodystrophy was correlated with the rate of hypoglycemia with P=0.00000001.

Conclusion: Needle reuse is a risk factor for lipodystrophy and hypoglycemia, hence the need for therapeutic education on needle change.

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