I have been reading posts here lately, telling others to use an alcohol swab on the bottle of insulin before using. I haven't done this in years. I think I read at one time that this is not necessary, and stopped doing it. Any ideas on this subject?
To me, I want to make sure that it works as well as possible. Plus, I'm not sure where else to keep it? I hardly ever have a bottle that doesn't work although I just had a very frustrating couple of weeks where that very thing may have happened. I finally used a new bottlle this AM and *blammo* business as usual! I dunno if the refridgeration helps or not. It's sort of hard to say. Like I had some sensors that were wierd and called Medtronics to kvetch about it and beg them for new ones and the guy was like "oh, I'm sure that wasn't it, we test them to 140 degrees..." so ***why*** does it say 85 degrees or whatever then? That drives me nuts, "we need to be safe because our lawyers have no cojones so we are going to not tell you what we know..."
We use Humalog, and I keep it in the fridge only when the outside temperature is above 75. My endo told me insulin is a lot more stable than most people think, and for the most part I've found him to be correct. Keeping it in the cabinet in the bathroom is more convenient, and having it at room temperature reduces the chance of air bubbles in the pump tubing, so I don't see any reason to refrigerate it except during the late spring & summer months. Up here in Maine, we rarely see temps over 75 after September 30, although today was one exception to that rule!
And no, I don't swab the vial with alcohol wipes. I'm the only person who touches it and since I most often wash my hands before I handle it, it seems like a pointless waste of a wipe.
My thought is YES to both. Why add additional variables? Bacteria are hearty things and can grow pretty much anywhere. It doesn't take long to swab it and then I know it's sterile before I inject it. Also keeping it in the fridge removes the temperature fluctuation variable. Does it make a difference? Pry not, but with a lot of things I use in the lab they say they are good at room temp but always last longer and work more efficiently over the long term when stored in the fridge.
What SuFu said...lol. I don't know that it needs to be refrigerated, but it's convenient, and yep, less variables. I'm a bit more cautious with my infusion set practices than I was with my pen use...it is, after all, an open wound! I never used alcohol swabs for injections. The other day at the doctors I tested and she offered me an alcohol swab! I laughed. My fingertips are callused and dry enough from testing 10 times a day - alcohol is all I would need!
I can't remember the last time I used a swab on the insulin bottle. Maybe it was 20 years ago... I use Novolog and keep my current bottle at room temperature. I use each bottle until it's empty and my guess is that is about 5-6 weeks. I fill my pump reservoir and use it until it gets down to about 10 units. That's usually about a week or a bit more. I don't ever have issues that I think are related to insulin degradation. My issues tend to be related to things like chocolate frosted old-fashioned donuts....
I do use IV Prep with pump infusion sets. I use plain alcohol swabs when inserting my Dex sensors.
I hardly ever change lancets and I never use alcohol swabs when testing BG. I rarely wash my hands before testing, although I have been known to put the intended victim finger under running water and then dry it.
When I think of how many injections, BG tests,etc. I've had in the last 35 years, it's an amazing amount of time I've spent on those things. But at least it's less time than it would have been with daily lancet changes, alcohol swabbing for each injection and test, etc.
I think it goes back to my original training for the Minimed CGMS where I was told not to put anything on the site that could compromise the sensor. I think I read or was told not to use IV Prep with the sensors.
I'm tempted to try IV Prep with my Dex sensors because they really don't stick very well. I usually get almost a week before all of the edges are peeling up, but they are close to coming loose from the start. After a week I add tape and get sufficient adhesion for another week.
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