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Published on 8 February 2013

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New Forum and recommendations for diabetes injection technique launched in Ireland

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The Forum for Injection Technique (FIT) announce the launch of FIT in Ireland, and the First Irish Injection Technique Recommendations in diabetes.
The Forum, which comprises experienced specialist diabetes nurses, is dedicated to establishing and promoting best practice in injection technique for all involved in diabetes care, and aims to raise awareness of emerging and existing research relating to injection technique and the impact this may have on health outcomes.
The Forum’s founding board is:
  • Helen Twamley, Clinical Nurse Manager, Beaumont Hospital: +353 1 809 3000
  • Sonya Browne Gleeson, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Beaumont Hospital: +353 1 809 3000
  • Helen Burke, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, University College Hospital Galway: +353 091 542 222
  • Patricia Coady, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Cork University Hospital: +353 21 492 2896
  • Yvonne Moloney, Clinical Midwife Specialist, Mid Western Regional Maternity Hospita: +353 061 483 481
The Forum’s overarching vision is to help all those with diabetes using injectable therapies achieve the best possible health outcomes by ensuring that the dose is delivered to the right injection site, using the right technique, every time.
One of FIT Ireland’s first actions has been the launch of the First Irish Injection Technique Recommendations for people with diabetes who use injectable therapies, which have been adapted from the First UK Injection Technique Recommendations 2nd Edition, published by FIT UK. The First Irish Injection Technique Recommendations can be found at: www.fit4diabetes.com/ireland.
The recommendations include the latest advice on injection sites and care, the correct use of pen devices, needle length, rotation of injection sites and much more. A scale is included throughout to show the weight a recommendation should have in daily practice and the degree of support in medical literature.
Poor technique can lead to injectable therapies not being absorbed properly. This, in turn, may cause immediate problems such as hypoglycaemia (a sudden drop in blood sugar because of accelerated insulin absorption) and/or hyperglycaemia (a rise in blood sugar because of slow insulin absorption). Longer-term problems can also include lipohypertrophy (accumulation of fat under the skin caused by injecting too frequently in the same area).  Lipohypertrophy may cause variability in the absorption of insulin.
The FIT Ireland founding board explain: “Injection technique is one of the keystones of diabetes injection therapy and it is vital that people get it right. It has not always been given the recognition it truly deserves and it should be a priority in the management of injection therapies. To increase awareness of this important issue, FIT Ireland has been formed.” 
Diabetes is one of the major chronic illnesses, with type 2 diabetes affecting 1 in 20 people in Ireland.[1] It is estimated that 180,000 people, of all age groups, in Ireland have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and this is expected to rise to 233,000 by 2020[2]. Recent research conducted by The Diabetes Ireland shows that one in three people has a family member with diabetes[3].
The cost of diabetes care is becoming an increasing burden for the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE). Diabetes treatment and complications make up to 5% of Irish national health expenditure.[4] It is estimated that almost 30% of people with diabetes use injectable therapies,[5] which, based on current figures, can be calculated as approximately 54,000 Irish people. In order to achieve optimal injection technique, correct injection technique is essential and, therefore, an improvement in technique could potentially contribute to managing the cost of diabetes care.
FIT is supported by medical technology company BD and both are committed to promoting injection technique best practice.
References
  1. Partanen TM, Rissanen A. Injectable therapy injection practices, Pract Diabetes Int 2000;17:252-254.
  2. Strauss K, De Gols H, Hannet I, Partanen TM, Frid A. A pan-European epidemiologic study of injectable therapy injection technique in people with diabetes with diabetes. Pract Diab Int 2002;19:71-76.
  3. Strauss K, De Gols H, Letondeur C, Matyjaszczyk M, Frid A. The second injection technique event (SITE), May 2000, Barcelona, Spain. Pract Diab Int 2002;19:17-21.
  4. Strauss K. Injectable therapy injection techniques: Report from the 1st International Injectable therapy Injection Technique Workshop, Strasbourg, France—June 1997. Pract Diab Int 1998;15:16-20.
  5. Danish Nurses Organisation. Evidence-based Clinical Guidelines for Injection of Injectable therapy for Adults with Diabetes Mellitus, 2nd edition, December 2006. Available from: www.dsr.dk


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