After improper use of insulin pens at two hospitals put more than 2000 patients at risk of contracting a blood-borne disease, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning clinicians and patients about the risks of sharing insulin pens and cartridges.
The agency issued the warning in March after it became aware that medical personnel at two Army hospitals had used multidose insulin pens intended for use by a single patient on multiple patients. According to the FDA, although the staff at the two hospitals reportedly changed the disposable needles used in the devices between patients, the pen itself or the insulin cartridge might have become contaminated, putting subsequent patients at risk.
Kuehn BM. FDA Warns Against Shared Insulin Pens. JAMA. 2009;301(15):1527. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.497