Diabetes Forecast

How to Administer Glucagon

Jessica Dean/Mittera

Currently, giving glucagon is a six-step process that involves a vial of glucagon powder and a syringe prefilled with saline, says Elizabeth Seaquist, MD, an endocrinologist and professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota. A caregiver must:

1. Remove the seal from the vial of powder and the needle cover from the syringe.

2. Insert the needle into the vial and push the plunger to empty the saline into the powder.

3. Gently roll or swirl the vial to dissolve the powder into the liquid until it is clear.

4. Draw the solution back into the syringe.

5. Inject into the outer mid-thigh or arm muscle of the person with severe hypoglycemia.

6. Turn the person on his or her side in case of vomiting, a common side effect.

New Easy-to-Use Glucagon Products Are on the Way

Illustrations courtesy of Eli Lilly and Co.



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