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Best practice technique for injectable diabetes therapies

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The number of people with diabetes in Britain is set to increase by a further 700,000 by the end of the decade, according to analysis by Diabetes UK.1 This figure is worrying, especially given the number of deaths associated with the poor management of diabetes. In 2011, the National Diabetes Audit found that up to 24,000 people with diabetes in England die prematurely from causes that could have been avoided through better management of their condition.2

Good management of the condition can be assisted by good injection technique. All those involved in diabetes care can assist patients with their injectable therapies to ensure an individual's condition is managed optimally.

Poor technique, including using an incorrect needle length, can lead to injectable therapies not being absorbed as expected. This, in turn, may cause immediate problems such as hypoglycaemia (a dangerously low amount of glucose in the blood plasma) and/or hyperglycaemia (excessive amounts of glucose circulating in the blood plasma). In those with type 1 diabetes, ketoacidosis (a shortage of insulin which causes the body to burn fatty acids) may also occur (see page 24).

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