All people with type 1 diabetes and some people with type 2 diabetes need to use insulin.

There are different types of insulin and insulin currently can only be given by injection.

When the body is not producing insulin, it must obtain it in the form of insulin injections. The injected insulin controls the level of blood glucose.

If the person misses a meal after having the insulin injection, the body has no food to convert into glucose.

The insulin that has been injected uses up the small amount of glucose that is left. This causes lower blood glucose levels.

On the other hand if there is more food consumed than the insulin can handle, the blood glucose will rise.

If the person exercises, they will need to eat more food or take less insulin because exercise makes insulin work more efficiently. Discuss this with the Doctor.


Needles for syringes or insulin pens are available free of charge once the person with diabetes is registered under the National Diabetes Service Scheme (NDSS).

Fear of Needles

Some people have a fear of needles.
Some techniques to deal with this include getting the person to learn to relax and also desensitization.

Who Gives the Injections?

Most people self inject, as it gives them more independence.Some people rely on Community nursing agencies to administer insulin.
If a problem arises as to the giving of injections then this needs to be discussed with the Doctor.

How to Inject

If you are giving injections, it is important to learn about safety issues.
They are covered in knowing the correct way to inject, how to measure and adjust the insulin dose and knowing the correct procedure for injecting.

Diabetes educators teach people how to give insulin injections but only to people who are legally permitted to do so.

Paid carers in Queensland can prepare and dial up the insulin but not give the injections.

Where to Inject

The ideal places to inject the insulin are the fatty areas of the body such as the stomach or outer upper thighs.
It is best if the injection site is changed regularly as the skin can become sore and develop lumps. This can stop the insulin from working properly.

Insulin Dosage

The doctor is responsible for prescribing the amount of insulin needed to control the blood glucose levels.
Do not give any additional insulin without Doctor's approval.

Injection Times

The doctor will prescribe how often the insulin is to be given to the person and when - before or after food.

Used Needles

Used needles should be disposed of in a 'sharps' container.
Needles should be used once only.

The sharps container, when full, can be closed securely and placed in the rubbish bin.

Sorage of Insulin

Insulin must not be frozen, or exposed to heat or direct sunlight. Insulin should be protected from light by keeping the cartridges in the carton when not in use.
Keep extra supplies of insulin in the fridge (not too near the freezer section). If Insulin is taken straight from the fridge and injected it will sting.

Insulin can be used for up to 4 weeks after taking it out of the fridge but it must not get too hot (over 25 degrees C).

Insulin and Going Out

Insulin may need to be carried by the person when they are away from their home at meal times. It doesn't have to be kept cold for day trips.

Insulin and Meals

If insulin has already been administered and the meal is delayed, ask for some bread.
If insulin has not been administered, wait until the meal arrives to do so.Insulin

Comment from Carer

" We use a chart that staff initial to show where injection was given. This avoids the same part being used all the time and lumps developing." 




Write down:

Where the insulin is stored


How the person self manages their insulin


Who injects the insulin