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Needle Length

10.1 Children and
Adolescents

1 There is no clinical reason for recommending needles longer than 6mm for children and adolescents. (118)

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2 Children and adolescents using a 5/6mm needle should lift a skin fold with each injection. (9,83,86,110,112-117,156,157)

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3 In the majority of cases a 4mm needle may be inserted at 90 degrees without a lifted skin fold. (9)

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4 If children have only an 8 mm needle available (as is currently the case with syringe users), it is essential to use a lifted skin fold or give injections into the buttocks. (111,118,119)

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5 Avoid pushing the pen device in to the skin thus indenting the skin during the injection, as the needle may penetrate deeper than intended and enter the muscle.

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10.2 Adults

1 There is no clinical reason for recommending needles longer than 8mm. (105,119,132)

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2 4, 5 and 6 mm needles are suitable for all people with diabetes regardless of BMI; they may not require a lifted skin fold; particularly if using 4 mm needles. (9,74,104,106 – 108,156,157)

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3 Injections with shorter needles (4, 5, 6 mm) should be given in adults at 90 degrees to the skin surface. (9,74,106 – 108,130)

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4 To prevent possible IM injections when injecting into slim limbs and abdomens, even with short needles (4,5 and 6mm) may warrant use of a lifted skin fold. (9, 105, 106,131)

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5 Individuals using >8mm needles should ensure they are using a lifted skin fold to avoid IM injections. (105,131)

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