Jet injectors deliver insulin beneath the skin using a high pressure jet through a tiny opening at the head of the injector. The opening is typically a fraction of the diameter of a needle. Proponents of jet injectors argue that the mist produced by the jet injector results in a better dispersal pattern of the insulin beneath the skin and is therefore less traumatic. Some also claim that jet injectors are less painful than needles.
Insulin injected via a needle produces a pool of insulin beneath the skin, as shown in the first image. The insulin is absorbed by the body only on the periphery of the pool of insulin.
Jet Injector Pattern
Insulin injected via a jet injector produces a mist of insulin beneath the skin, as shown in the second image. Since the insulin is dispersed throughout the tissue, it is absorbed more quickly. Users of jet injectors often need to adjust their insulin dosage by a small amount to account for this effect.
Proponents of jet injectors often claim that they are less painful than needles. Some even say they are painfee. From postings in misc.health.diabetes by users of jet injectors, and discussions with a few users of jet injectors, the fact is that it depends upon the individual. People with little body fat or thin skin, such as kids, are likely to find jet injectors and needles equally painful (or painfree). People with some body fat, who inject in that area, will likely find that the jet injector is nearly painless. The GentleJet is one jet injector specifically designed with kids in mind.
Also, each user must determine the proper injection pressure by trying out various settings. Bruises result from too much pressure, while leakage results from too little. Getting it just right is part of the training provided by the jet injector manufacturer and will be a bit uncomfortable. Different parts of the body may require different pressure settings.
- Jet injectors probably provide greater precision in the amount of insulin injected. Studies have shown that the dosage of insulin delivered via syringe can vary greatly from the intended amount.
- It is easy to draw up a precise amount of insulin into a jet injector. Some kids can learn to do their own injections more easily and at a younger age compared to traditional syringes.
- There is no syringe waste with jet injectors, reducing medical waste.
- The absence of a needle helps those who are afraid of needles.
- Jet injectors are larger than syringes and are thus harder to carry around while out and about.
- Jet injectors are initially expensive, though there is no additional expense over time. For people who take three shots a day, the jet injector will pay for itself in three to four years.
- Jet injectors must be sterilized, usually on a weekly basis.
If you are interested in jet injectors, your Diabetes Team can help you decide if they’re right for you.
Makers and Models of Jet Injectors
For More Information
- Jet Injector Fact Sheet by Jonathan W. Mills
- Carol Ratcliff writes about her son’s experiences with a jet injector.
- MediJector FAQ
- Health-Mor Personal Care Corporation home page
- Medi-Ject Corporation home page
- Vitajet Corporation home page