Air In Set After Removing Pump for Shower

I started noticing this issue about 6 months ago after having my MiniMed for about two years before that. When I go to reconnect my set after taking a shower, I notice (consistently) that there is air at the end of the line (where it connects into the set). Sometimes it is just a small gap, a few millimeters, sometimes its closer to a full centimeter. I clear it with the “fill cannula” function, but sometimes I need to do this twice before drops start coming out the end.

I leave my pump running as normal while I shower (don’t suspend or anything) and usually am only unhooked for under 15 minutes. Just wondering if others have experienced this as a pump ages (or with new pumps?) and if it might be a sign of an issue. Or if maybe my basal rate is just low enough at that time of day that the pressure is not enough to push back against the air pressure? Thoughts?

Why don’t you suspend your pump? I’ve had my Medtronic pump for 4 years this is my second one and never had a problem with either pump but I suspend my pump always when I disconnect for any reason.

I do the same thing for my shower every day but don’t have the problem you describe. What I would do is push out a few units of insulin through the pump and verify that you can actually see a drop of insulin at the end of the connector before you reconnect. In my pump, I would use the prime function to do this so that the air bubble-clearing amount was not counted in any calculations.

Alternately, you could program a 30-minute higher temporary basal rate, like 1.0 units/hours to keep the insulin dripping out of the disconnected set while you shower. The disadvantage of this is that the pump thinks it actually delivered this insulin and would use it in the immediate future to calculate insulin on board and bolus wizard calculations.

Count yourself lucky to have good enough eyesight to actually see this! Air gaps in the insulin set wreak all kinds of diabetes havoc. For me it requires optical magnification and good lighting.

MiniMed Medtronic recently issued a recall of certain lot number infusion sets. Are your sets included in this recall?

At issue is a fabric membrane at the cartridge/infusion set connector. If it gets wet, it blocks its pressure equalization function and can over-infuse insulin when first hooking up a new infusion set.

Just a thought. This may have nothing to do with your situation but your set draws in air when you disconnect. That raises the question. Why is the pressure inside your set/reservoir going negative with respect to ambient pressure?

During pump training they specifically said not to suspend the pump when disconnecting. I think the main problem they were worried about by using the suspend function when disconnected had to do with air pressure and air getting into the set (I know, ironic!).

Good thought, but none of the ones I was using were recalled :confused:

I never suspend my pump for a shower and I don’t get bubbles in it. I have explained in great detail in the past how to avoid getting bubbles in tubing and the reservoir but it’s rather lengthy and I’m sorry I don’t have the patience to write down the detailed steps

I’ve used Medtronic pump since 1996. I use them when they had Luer lock connectors and now of course they have their proprietary connector

What kind of set are you using?

It’s not that I am getting bubbles (as in air is coming from the reservoir as I think you are referring to), but air is traveling in from the set connector while the set is disconnected (so, opposite end). I use the Mio sets.

I understand. I was just discussing air in general as well as your problem in particular. Which is why I asked about the set type you’re using. I’ve never used that but it would seem as though the only possibility that makes any sense is that they are somehow leaking when you’re not hooked up to the tubing. If you set the tubing on a counter and you don’t see air at the end of the tubing after you get out of the shower, then the only logical thing to conclude is that insulin is somehow coming out of the set connector which I can’t imagine happening but what else is there?

Have you tried capping your tubing when you disconnect. The Silhouette infusion sets I use come with a cap on the end of the tubing that must be removed. Try saving that and recapping when you disconnect

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I have this problem!!! It drives me nuts. I had it with my last pump-minimed veo. And again with my Medtronic 640. Every. Damn. Morning!
I refill and wait to see drops using the ‘fill cannula’ option too. My theory is how the line might be extended/twisted when I wear it then when I put it down to shower something happens there? I extend the whole length after a shower to check for air bubbles anywhere in the line…so?? I’ve mentioned it to my CDE and she doesn’t seem worried.

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Oh my sets weren’t in the recall either-I use the mio sets

I’ve had the same theory about pulling the line straight! Sometime there will even be a small space at the end, so I’ll purge it and then as I am straightening it to reattach a new gap will form. Annoying! I guess just keeping it rolled up, connecting, then straightening if needed might solve the problem… Ha! I guess I’ve never tried it!