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April 10, 2001

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections

Question from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA:

My two year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes a month ago, and uses very small doses of Humalog and Ultralente (0.5 - 2.5 units). Although we try very hard to be exact in our measuring, we would have no idea if we are off by say 0.1 unit. I know that it does not seem to be a lot, but percentage-wise (20%) it is huge. Is there anything out that measures more accurately?

Answer:

The ReliOn Short Needle 3/10 cc syringes have half-unit markings which can be very helpful in accurately measuring insulin in low doses. An insulin pump can accurately measure insulin in 0.1 unit increments, but is not the best option for a two year old with diabetes for only a month (although that too may be changing in the future). I would suggest using the ReliOn syringes for now.

MSB

[Editor’s comment: Your son may need diluted insulin. The insulin manufacturers supply diluent free-of-charge to those who need it. This would allow you to make a U-10 (each line on the syringe would be 1/10 unit), U-25 (each line on the syringe would be 1/4 unit), or U-50 (each line on the syringe would be 1/2 unit) concentration of insulin. I believe that your son’s diabetes team must order this for you. Ask them about it.

SS]