So I just took my Basal dose with my pen-needle and noticed some blood at the tip of the needle when I removed it - no big deal. However, when I looked closely at the pen needle, I noticed that some blood had gotten into the remaining insulin in the pen. This is the first time this has happened to me and I have a couple questions:
1. Is this pen finished or is it still effective - or even safe - to use?
2. Does the blood in the pen indicate that I got the insulin directly into my bloodstream and, if so, will that change (i.e., speed up) the way my basal insulin will affect my BG?
3. Is there anything I should be aware of in this situation?
I can't imagine this is uncommon - would love a bit of insight, though!
this has happened to me before. I think it means you probably hit a vein.
Just monitor a bit more closely than usual to see you don't go low.
I have thrown out the vial once it got noticeably contaminated with blood.
It just means you have gone through a small vein. It probably happens to me about one time out of 30. I just eject enough insulin to clear the blood from the needle.
If you get blood in your insulin that can cause it to go bad. I would throw out that pen. I find that if I hold the plunger down when I removed the needle if there was blood it would not get into the insulin. Just click a unit and clear the needle just to be sure none of it gets into your insulin again next time. That is if you see blood coming out of the injection site you can assume there is a small amount of blood in the tip of the needle but not necessarily in the insulin. Just clear the needle to be sure. I assume you are talking about your leg injections and in the leg there are very small veins that you can hit every once in a while. This is not necessarily going to make the insulin work any different because you would have to inject into a main blood vessel to have it be a major problem and the needle lengths are so short that is not going to happen in your leg. I have gotten blood inside a pen once after only using it twice. Just to be sure I tossed the pen in the garbage because a contaminated pen could cause more problems then you would want to deal with I am sure.
Thanks for all the great advice/info/replies - I am worried about it affecting the insulin in the pen, but it's my last pen of Levemir at the moment so I'm going to use it again tonight and then grab a new set tomorrow. I'll probably toss the pen just to be safe and make sure I keep the plunger pressed until I remove it from now on to keep blood from backing up into the needle again.
Thanks again everyone!