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What should be done for broken insulin needle in arm?

User rating for this question
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Answered by

Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 3753 Questions
I accidently broke off an insulin needle in my arm. It is near the elbow but not in the bend. I don't know if I should go to the hospital now or wait and see if it will come out. I'm extremely worried. It is not red or inflamed, and I cannot feel anything there.
Posted Sun, 24 Aug 2014 in Accident and Emergency
Answered by Dr. Ivo Ditah 23 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Please,check and confirm that the needle is broken

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for this query.

I am so sorry to hear about what happened to you. I find it difficult to believe that the needle for real is broken. Please, inspect the needle head and compare with a bright new one to make sure you are right about this.

If for sure it is broken, then book an appointment and see your doctor. I would have recommended the ER but with n pains, redness and you not feeling anything when you touch, I am not too worried and think immediate and aggressive course of action is not too necessary right now.

In all, double check and make sure it is broken. If this is true, book an appointment at your earliest convenience to get this looked into.

I hope this helps. I wish you well. Thank you so much for trusting us with your health query this day. Feel free to ask for more information and clarifications if need be.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What should be done for broken insulin needle in arm? 6 minutes later
I am sure the needle is broken and stuck in my arm. Thank you for your quick answer and for being so nice about it. In all honesty, I am afraid to go to my doctor. However, i also wanted to know if you think the drawing salve could possibly help draw it out or if there is any other way to get it out at home. Thanks again.
Answered by Dr. Ivo Ditah 25 minutes later
Brief Answer:
No home trial unless you can clearly see it!

Detailed Answer:

Please, do not attempt drawing it out at home unless you can clearly see its tip. if it needs digging deep down to identify the needle(and you mentioned you cannot feel it), then you should not dare to attempt.

You would need to get it examined by an expert. If it cannot be pinpointed, then you may do an x-ray to identify it. Only when the exact location is certain that an attempt would be made to take it out unless we want to cause more extensive tissue damage.

Why are you afraid to go to your doctor? You are the reason for him being there. Report the incident to him. This will call for rehearsals on proper insulin administration and would help prevent further similar accidents.

I wish you well.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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