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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I do, and it works really well. I saw a page that puts up such a bad picture about it that it seems nuts. Right here.

Can I Reuse My Syringe?

I probably inject about 50 times on average with each syringe. I have only twice had syringes that had as much damage as the photo they show after 1 injection. It promptly got slammed in the can, maybe a little early, but after a lot more than 1 injection.

The photo they show after 6 injections is absolutely nuts. Not humanly possible. You could not get a human being to do the fourth or fifth injections with that needle unless s/he was physically restrained.

My theory about that syringe is that it was loaded in a tranquilizer gun and used to tranquilize a diesel locomotive.

Seems like it is a real and highly qualified person who put the page up. I'm not sure what to do about this. I did find an email for her and will send something. Also I might use the Google sidewiki to put a comment on the page.

If anyone isn't familiar with sidewiki, if you have a google toolbar on your browser, you will very rarely see a site with a vertical bar along the left side. You can click on it to open and read the comments, and leave one too if you want. I never have used it so far.

Anyone else consider this to be extreme misinformation?
 

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I do, and it works really well. I saw a page that puts up such a bad picture about it that it seems nuts. Right here.

Can I Reuse My Syringe?

I probably inject about 50 times on average with each syringe. I have only twice had syringes that had as much damage as the photo they show after 1 injection. It promptly got slammed in the can, maybe a little early, but after a lot more than 1 injection.

The photo they show after 6 injections is absolutely nuts. Not humanly possible. You could not get a human being to do the fourth or fifth injections with that needle unless s/he was physically restrained.

My theory about that syringe is that it was loaded in a tranquilizer gun and used to tranquilize a diesel locomotive.

Seems like it is a real and highly qualified person who put the page up. I'm not sure what to do about this. I did find an email for her and will send something. Also I might use the Google sidewiki to put a comment on the page.

If anyone isn't familiar with sidewiki, if you have a google toolbar on your browser, you will very rarely see a site with a vertical bar along the left side. You can click on it to open and read the comments, and leave one too if you want. I never have used it so far.

Anyone else consider this to be extreme misinformation?
I read the article and looked at the pictures and it is really hard to tell because the images are magnified and a used syringe needle probably does not look this way to the naked eye. I would need to actually reuse a syringe 6 times and then look at it through a magnifying glass to fairly compare them. I have reused syringes when money was tight but I don't reuse syringes anymore. I don't like to keep putting the used syringe back into the insulin vial, in my opinion, that can contaminate the insulin. I think it is OK to reuse syringes a few times but how many times you want to reuse a syringe is a personal choice.
 

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Thanks for the link to the article. In Belgium, we often have this discussion, since doctors tell us to change the needles daily. Some people use the same needle 4 times a day (they swap from fast acting insulin to slow acting) during a whole week, before they use a new needle. I'll open this discussion again on our Belgian forum. Thanks for the input.
 

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I think there is a question of personal preference; including considerations such as managing cost and generating waste.

From the "infection" point of view I see it very much along the same lines as reusing lancets: in a hospital setting where there are many potential sources of infection, it makes sense to practice due diligence and be ultra-cautious, but at home it is just us and our own bugs... :spider:
 

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I know that at the beginning my daibetic instructor told me that it was probably alright to reuse needles three or four times. I did that and during the second injection, it almost always hurt. I could not figure out why, so I did the research. Found this to be a contributing factor and started to replace the needles ever time. I have had literally no pain since then.
But it is probably personal preferrence. And I did look at one of my own reused needles after 3 or 4 injections and it wasn't far off from these pictures. You have to remember that these are magnified a ton to give an accurate look.
 

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I use one syringe a day for Levemir and usually one for Novolog, sometimes switch to a 2nd one mid-day. Haven't had any pain problems, but do bruise once in a while.

Jen
 

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No, I don't want to get hepatitus or some such. But then again, I get them fairly inexpensively...10 cents each.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
One practical thing that might make a difference. I load up a full 100 unit syringe at a time, but only use from 2 to a max of 14 units at a time. This is really handy. I carry a preloaded syringe to work in a toothbrush case for travelers.

That might help because I think the rubber at the top of the vial is a lot tougher than my skin, and that way the syringe doesn't have to go through it so often. Also the rubber seems to be softer in the middle than around the edge. If anyone is getting damaged or dulled syringes maybe that's where it happens?

Here's a quote from the largest study I've read about reusing syringes. It covered about 560,000 injections, equal to 5 a day for more than 300 years.

"A Prospective Study of the Hazards of Multiple Use of Disposable Syringes and Needles in Intensified Insulin Therapy" by R. Chlup, E. Marsalek, and W. Burns. Published in Diabetic Medicine. 7(7):624-7, 1990 Aug.

"Each syringe was reused for 1 to 12 weeks; each needle for 4 to 200 injections (average 41) within 1 to 40 days (average 11.2). In a total of 560,000 of injections no relevant signs of infection could be found. In rare cases slight redness not exceeding 4 mm square could be seen at the injection sites."

"Thus, the repeated use of syringes and needles in one diabetic patient may be recommended as a convenient and safe approach in insulin administration."

They also mentioned in the study that there was a wide variety in the hygiene of the people taking part of it. Some of them were quite clean, and some were at the other end of that spectrum.

So basically it seems to be extremely safe. In fact the rate of infections is the same for people reusing syringes as it is for people using new syringes. If you are going to puncture the skin there is some risk.

At least, Injections - 560,000, Infections - 0 is a nice lopsided score.

An interesting part of the study related to those photos is the syringes used 200 times for up to 12 weeks. How is the syringe in the photo of the 6th injection going to get to 7, let alone 200? It's not humanly possible. With damage happening at that rate there wouldn't even be a millimeter of needle left.

I'm near sighted, and guessing that some of the posters are far sighted maybe? To me it's quite easy to see and quite clear. I only did have 2 syringes out of quite a few hundred ever got anything like the damage they show from one injection. The magnification doesn't matter much if you just look at the size of the hook compared to the size of the needle.

And the overall average from the study is interesting. 41 injections per syringe certainly does bring the cost down.

There's more to it, but tired of typing :)

bye for now
lia
 

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No, I don't want to get [hepatitis] or some such. ...
You can't get hepatitis from yourself. I don't think anyone here s suggesting we share needles etc... with others. :)
 

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One practical thing that might make a difference. I load up a full 100 unit syringe at a time, but only use from 2 to a max of 14 units at a time. This is really handy. I carry a preloaded syringe to work in a toothbrush case for travelers.

That might help because I think the rubber at the top of the vial is a lot tougher than my skin, and that way the syringe doesn't have to go through it so often. Also the rubber seems to be softer in the middle than around the edge. If anyone is getting damaged or dulled syringes maybe that's where it happens?

Here's a quote from the largest study I've read about reusing syringes. It covered about 560,000 injections, equal to 5 a day for more than 300 years.

"A Prospective Study of the Hazards of Multiple Use of Disposable Syringes and Needles in Intensified Insulin Therapy" by R. Chlup, E. Marsalek, and W. Burns. Published in Diabetic Medicine. 7(7):624-7, 1990 Aug.

"Each syringe was reused for 1 to 12 weeks; each needle for 4 to 200 injections (average 41) within 1 to 40 days (average 11.2). In a total of 560,000 of injections no relevant signs of infection could be found. In rare cases slight redness not exceeding 4 mm square could be seen at the injection sites."

"Thus, the repeated use of syringes and needles in one diabetic patient may be recommended as a convenient and safe approach in insulin administration."

They also mentioned in the study that there was a wide variety in the hygiene of the people taking part of it. Some of them were quite clean, and some were at the other end of that spectrum.

So basically it seems to be extremely safe. In fact the rate of infections is the same for people reusing syringes as it is for people using new syringes. If you are going to puncture the skin there is some risk.

At least, Injections - 560,000, Infections - 0 is a nice lopsided score.

An interesting part of the study related to those photos is the syringes used 200 times for up to 12 weeks. How is the syringe in the photo of the 6th injection going to get to 7, let alone 200? It's not humanly possible. With damage happening at that rate there wouldn't even be a millimeter of needle left.

I'm near sighted, and guessing that some of the posters are far sighted maybe? To me it's quite easy to see and quite clear. I only did have 2 syringes out of quite a few hundred ever got anything like the damage they show from one injection. The magnification doesn't matter much if you just look at the size of the hook compared to the size of the needle.

And the overall average from the study is interesting. 41 injections per syringe certainly does bring the cost down.

There's more to it, but tired of typing :)

bye for now
lia
So..in essence, you are making your own multi-use pen. Am i understanding correctly? While I can see the cost benefit of doing this...my concern is that it would be too easy to make a mistake and accidently overdose or underdose yourself. When you get your insulin in a prefilled pen instead of the vial there is a feature on it that allows you to set the dose before you inject. This way you cant accidentally inject too much . If you get your insulin in pre-filled pens you have the option of using a fresh needle everytime, or some people do use the same one a few times. I guess that is personal choice as everyone seems to agree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
When you get your insulin in a prefilled pen instead of the vial there is a feature on it that allows you to set the dose before you inject. This way you cant accidentally inject too much.
That is really interesting. I didn't know that.

You're right that is another complication to injecting this way. Sometimes the plunger doesn't move smoothly through the barrel and I'll inject not quite enough and have a bit of difficulty getting it to just the amount I want.

And sometimes I have injected up to 2 units too much. That is never a problem for me. I have extra food even at work and I just eat a little more.

Those are both rare. Maybe it's from a lot of practice but mostly it comes out accurate.

Fortunately I'm one of the skinny diabetics, so there is room for eating more.

It really would be nice to be completely precise with injections. Also the needles on them wouldn't have to go through the rubber stopper on the insulin vials. I will check into those pens. I had just been thinking of them as new fangled city folk expensive stuff.

For me money is hard to come by, easy go. I don't like wasting anything.

But also, even if syringes were free, I would still reuse just because I don't see any point to using a new one for every injection. It's at least wasting someone's time to make them. There is the garbage disposal problem. I like to do things as efficiently as possible.
 

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In Belgium, we all use those insulin pens. You put a cartridge of insulin in the pen, you turn the knob to determine the dose you need and you inject. The syringes you use are only for emergency here, in case your insulin pen blocks.
 

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You can't get hepatitis from yourself. I don't think anyone here s suggesting we share needles etc... with others. :)
There are diseases that can be transmitted from self reuse of dirty syringes. I have excellent insurance. My syringes are 10 cents each and disposal is free. I even get a free sharps container.

If times got tight, I'd go to "Needle Exchange" for those addicted to IV drugs. They pass them out free, no questions.
 

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There are diseases that can be transmitted from self reuse of dirty syringes. I have excellent insurance. My syringes are 10 cents each and disposal is free. I even get a free sharps container.

If times got tight, I'd go to "Needle Exchange" for those addicted to IV drugs. They pass them out free, no questions.
It is great that you have good insurance and have figured out alternatives so you never need to reuse needles/syringes. I am in the same position insurance-wise and have not yet had to reuse BUT as mentioned above, another consideration is "generating waste"... which some see as an important issue. :) Another post suggested practical reasons for reuse, relating to carrying these supplies around.

As evidenced by this thread, clearly there ARE people who do reuse needles/syringes; so perhaps you could shed more light on the "diseases that can be transmitted from self reuse of dirty syringes"... as this seems important to know about. As above, I don't see anyone suggesting sharing supplies between different people, so I am puzzled as to how I could give myself an infection that I must by definition, already have? :confused: Obviously the introduction of an outside infection from the table surface for example, is always a risk with any injection but I don't see that reuse of supplies necessarily increases that risk, or that reuse should automatically mean "dirty"... so long as the technique is sound?

I think we as a society have become way too germ-phobic when clearly we evolved surrounded by "bugs"... even on our skin and inside our gut. This is why we have an immune system.
 

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Infections from outside skin infection are rare, but do happen. Also as the needles are designed for single use, I believe they have a greater chance of breaking. Any chance is too great for me. If I was broke, etc. Maybe I would be forced to do such. But as of now....
 

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Here is my humble opinion on the subject...

I agree if you are the only person using the needle that you have no risk cross-contamination of disease between you and another person. The only issue I can see with it is that most people have bacteria (usually staph epi) colonized on their skin. Its a normal thing. As long as you are making sure that you clean your skin well before you inject, your likelihood of introducing that bacteria into your body is low. Most diabetics that I know, myself included when I was taking daily injections, got pretty lax about cleaning skin before injecting. Repeatedly injecting without cleaning first is most likely going to contaminate that needle and syringe with that bacteria, making your risk of infection increase. If you absolutely must re-use needles, please be sure and clean your skin well and use the best technique you can and your risk should stay low.
 

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hepatitis

No, I don't want to get hepatitus or some such. But then again, I get them fairly inexpensively...10 cents each.
You are not going to get hepatitis unless you share your needles with someone else. Reusing them just for yourself will not give you hepatitis.
 

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I do, and it works really well. I saw a page that puts up such a bad picture about it that it seems nuts. Right here.

Can I Reuse My Syringe?

I probably inject about 50 times on average with each syringe. I have only twice had syringes that had as much damage as the photo they show after 1 injection. It promptly got slammed in the can, maybe a little early, but after a lot more than 1 injection.

The photo they show after 6 injections is absolutely nuts. Not humanly possible. You could not get a human being to do the fourth or fifth injections with that needle unless s/he was physically restrained.

My theory about that syringe is that it was loaded in a tranquilizer gun and used to tranquilize a diesel locomotive.

Seems like it is a real and highly qualified person who put the page up. I'm not sure what to do about this. I did find an email for her and will send something. Also I might use the Google sidewiki to put a comment on the page.

If anyone isn't familiar with sidewiki, if you have a google toolbar on your browser, you will very rarely see a site with a vertical bar along the left side. You can click on it to open and read the comments, and leave one too if you want. I never have used it so far.

Anyone else consider this to be extreme misinformation?
I LOVE your sense of humor in this topic!!
 
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