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Guidance on pre-loading insulin syringes for diabetes patients

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Nurses are being offered guidance on the difficult area of pre-loading insulin syringes for patients with diabetes, who are otherwise unable to manage their condition.

The guidance focuses on the small minority of cases, where patients are not able to manage devices such as insulin pens and instead use pre-loaded syringes as a last resort.

The guidelines, published by the Royal College of Nursing, aim to ensure that in those circumstances care is kept safe for the patient, and that nurses are also aware of the legal position around undertaking such treatment and their own liability.

“We welcome guidance that will help people with diabetes retain as much independence as possible”

Libby Dowling

The previous guidance was one of the most used of all the RCN’s publications, demonstrating the importance placed by nurses on getting care right in this difficult area, said the college.

Libby Dowling, clinical advisor at the charity Diabetes UK, welcomed the RCN guidelines.  

“A small but significant number of people need to use pre-loaded syringes to help manage their diabetes. In these cases, it is vital that care is delivered safely and nurses are aware of the legal position surrounding this practice,” she noted.

“We, therefore, welcome guidance that will help people with diabetes retain as much independence as possible in managing their condition, while also ensuring they receive the highest level of care available,” she added.

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