Where do I inject my insulin, put my insulin pump site or CGM sensor?

Friday, 25 September 2020

Insulin injections

You should only inject into the fat layer just below the surface of your skin and not into muscle.

Getting insulin to the right place is important to managing your blood glucose levels. You can inject into your stomach, thighs, bottom or arms. You need to be able to reach spots easily and be comfortable doing your injection. Talk about which place is best for you with your diabetes educator.

Rotate between injection sites. Divide each injection site into quadrants (into four sections) if using your stomach or halves (two sections) if using your legs or bottom. Use a different quadrant or half each week and then rotate clockwise within injection quadrants or halves.

Don’t inject in the same place each time, choose a different spot within the area. Imagine a grid drawn on the skin, aim to move at least 1 cm away from the last injection point.

Keeping track of your injection sites reduces problems. It doesn’t matter how you do this: It can be writing them down on paper or using electronic devices.

Here’s the link if you would like to see our video “Getting insulin right from the start”.

Insulin pump infusion set insertion site guidelines

Avoid inserting the infusion set:

  • Into 5cm diameter area around your belly button
  • Where your body naturally bends a great deal
  • In areas where clothing might cause irritation such as your beltline
  • Where you have scarred, hardened tissue or stretch marks
  • Less than 2cm away from any sensor site

Here’s a rundown of the “S.P.O.T. method”.

‘S’ite location

The stomach is a common place to wear an infusion set. If you also wear a sensor, you may struggle for enough room on your stomach. One possibility is to use one area such as your upper arms just for sensors. Rotate between arms. For infusion sites, rotate between thighs, stomach, and top of bottom. Saving your upper arms for sensors allows time for sites to heal and skin to remain healthy.

Before inserting a new sensor or infusion set, ask yourself:

  1. Where did I insert last? Choose a different spot.
  2. What types of activities am I planning for the next three days? Activities such as sport might change placement.
  3. What kinds of clothes will I be wearing for those activities? Beach day or school/work day means different outfits and will influence your site choice.
  4. Once you have chosen a new site check for a skin fold, scar, over used site or too close to the belt line. If so, avoid these spots.

‘P’ump Placement

It’s tempting to insert the sensor and infusion set on the same side of your body so that your pump can be clipped close to the sensor. This isn’t necessary.  Instead, clip your pump on the same side of your body as your sensor, not your infusion set. Simply pull the tubing over, and clip your pump onto the same side as your sensor. This is where longer infusion set tubing lengths come in handy.

‘O’rientation

Most people are taught to insert their sensor horizontally on their stomach. By changing the orientation, the sensor is at a different angle, using a slightly different area of the skin. This gives more options on placement. You can do this with your infusion sets too. Point tubing in direction of where your pump will sit. This can make the insertion more comfortable while allowing for more site and clothing options.

‘T’rack

Keeping track of your insertion sites reduces problems. It can be writing them down on paper or using electronic devices. Just do whatever works for you.

 

Join our community of over 45,000 people living with diabetes