Guidance on improving staff safety in injecting insulin.

A syringe

This new guidance has been developed by the European Medical Association to assist health care staff in minimising risk from injecting insulin for diabetes patients, principally through blood exposure.

Clinical question:

In health staff administering insulin to people with diabetes, what precautions should be taken to minimise their risk of needle injuries?

The evidence

This clinical practice guideline is based on:

  • a systematic literature search
  • expert review of the evidence
  • further expert review of draft recommendations in a workshop setting
  • iterative consensus-forming of subsequent drafts.

Topics covered include the risks of sharps injury and muco-cutaneous exposure, the EU Directive, devices, injection techniques, education and training and creating a culture of risk awareness.

The authors state that the guidelines:

should help ensure safe, effective and largely injury-free injections and fingersticks. They will serve as the roadmap for applying the new EU Directive to diabetes care.

Appraisal hints

Users of this guidance should consider:


Unfortunately this guidance is not available full text online without payment or subscription.

Strauss K; WISE Consensus Group. WISE recommendations to ensure the safety of injections in diabetes. Diabetes Metab. 2012 Jan;38 Suppl 1:S2-8.


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I am an information scientist with an interest in making knowledge from systematic research more accessible to people who need it. This means you. I've been attempting this in the area of Evidence-Based Health Care since 1995. So far the results have been mixed. For some reason we expected busy clinicians to search databases and appraise papers instead of seeing patients. We also expected publishers to make the research freely available to the people who paid for it.. Ha! Hence The National Elf service.

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