Nontraditional Considerations with Insulin Needle Length Selection
Ensuring the correct delivery of insulin is essential in the treatment of diabetes. Both proper injection technique and needle length are important considerations for adequate insulin delivery. There have been several studies demonstrating that BMI does not affect efficacy or insulin leakage with shorter pen needles (e.g., 4 or 5 mm vs. 12.7 mm). Additionally, the International Scientific Advisory Board for the Third Injection Technique Workshop released recommendations in 2010 on best practices for injection technique for patients with diabetes, which, with regard to needle length, concluded that 4-mm pen needles were efficacious in all patients regardless of BMI. However, regardless of patients’ BMI, insulin injection technique should always be assessed and physically disabling comorbid conditions taken into consideration when choosing a needle length that will be manageable for patients. The purpose of this article is to raise awareness of unique patient circumstances that may warrant the use of the longer 12.7-mm needle.
O’Neal, Katherine S.; Johnson, Jeremy L.; and Swar, Sajidah, "Nontraditional Considerations with Insulin Needle Length Selection" (2015). Faculty Articles & Research. 26.