Pediatric Insulin Injection Technique: A Multi-Country Survey and Clinical Practice Implications

Sanjay Kalra, Laurence J. Hirsch, Anders Frid, Asma Deeb, Kenneth W. Strauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


Introduction: The 2015 Insulin Injection Technique Questionnaire survey involving 13,289 patients included 898 (6.8%) patients in the pediatric age range (≤ 18 years). Methods: The younger patients included in the questionnaire survey were grouped according to age: Group 1 (G1), 0–6 years, n = 85; Group 2(G2), 7–13, n = 423; Group 3 (G3), 14–18, n = 390. The injection technique was evaluated by means of a questionnaire and nurse assessment. Results: Nurses found lipohypertrophy at injection sites in 41.3, 45.2, and 47.3% of patients in G1, G2, and G3, respectively. Unexpected hypoglycemia was common, ranging from 23.8 to 48.1% of patients, and glucose variability was even more common (61.0% in G1, 45.9% in G2, and 52.5% in G3); both conditions were associated with lipohypertrophy. While increasing numbers of patients were using the recommended 4-mm needles, large percentages still used longer ones (33.3% in G1, 45.9% in G2, and 61.5% in G3). The reuse of needles was also common, ranging from 21.1 to 32.5% in the three age groups. Excessive reuse, defined as using a single needle more than five times, was reported by 9.4–21.8% of patients in the three age group. The percentages of patients who had not received any injection training in the last 12 months ranged from 21.2 to 26.8% in the three groups. Conclusion: Implications of our study are as follows: (1) pediatric patients should use 4-mm pen needles or 6-mm syringes (inserted at a 45° angle); (2) patients aged ≤ 6 years should always inject into a raised skin fold regardless of which device is used; (3) all patients should rotate sites and use needles only once to avoid lipohypertrophy. Funding: Becton–Dickinson (BD) diabetes care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2291-2302
Number of pages12
JournalDiabetes Therapy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
  • Pediatrics


  • Injections
  • Insulin
  • Lipohypertrophy
  • Needles
  • Pediatric
  • Subcutaneous


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