Any tips for this infusion site problem? A couple of recent problems (although not a new thing): yesterday a silhouette I manually inserted immediately backed up with blood and I had to yank it and start again. Last week I used an inserter to place a silhouette and about two days later blood started backing up and when I yanked it out it bled profusely and is still bruised a week later.
You are not alone with this experience. I had a few “blood gushers” in the past, 3 at least that I can remember. Blood just keep on squirting out. Scary. But I tell myself don’t panic. Apply pressure for as long as it take to stop the bleeding and allow the blood to coagulate. But the first time it happened, it was WTF! Now I know.
My theory, when the cannula is inserted, it hits an artery and punctures it but the cannula seals the blood leak. However, 2-3 days later you pull it out and a fresh leak opens up and gushes out the blood. Ugly. Scary. But just apply pressure for a while, be patient, the blood will coagulate and seal the puncture. Then, the messy clean up. FU Diabetes!
I found this site which relates to this subject.
Note: some of my gushers took a while to stop. Be patient. It will eventually stop bleeding.
I don’t know how to 100% avoid hitting an artery with an infusion set. It doesn’t happen very often with me, maybe a few times per year. I find a strong association between a painful insertion and hitting an artery. This is not low level pain but more intense and sharp. I immediately withdraw the infusion set and watch for blood.
When this first happened to me I would be scurrying to find a tissue and use it to apply pressure. I would often have to clean up some blood.
Now I use a simple method to stop the blood and I wonder why it took me so long to use it. Someone else here gave me this tip. At the first sign of any blood, instead of reaching for a tissue, immediately take your finger tip and apply pressure to the site. Hold pressure for at least a minute and watch closely when you remove your finger to see if the blood has stopped. Reapply your finger for another minute if the blood has not stopped. I then follow up with a band-aid and some Neosporin.
Sometimes this happens when I withdraw the cannula after a full three-day session. It may have hurt some going in but I decided to chance it and leave it in. I follow the same drill as above.
I have had a site provide poor or uneven absorption and when removing the site early, I often see blood. I think that when blood fouls the site, the sensor cannot perform well. Sometimes the bleeding happens after a normal well-absorbing three-day site session.
Since I’ve noticed a strong association between site insertion pain and bleeding, I now palpate prospective sites and try to find sites that do not give any tenderness with gentle finger pressure.
I haven’t been able to completely avoid this from happening but it only happens to me a few times per year. It’s just another thing we must deal with. Fortunately it’s not our hardest challenge and we just need to take care of it and move on. Good luck.
I’ve only had this happen 3-4 times in my 20 years of pumping, but the first time was total shock.
I now insert the new set first, after cleaning site with alcohol pad. Then remove old set, and immediately cover skin with the pad, with pressure, as @Terry4 said.
I have not had any bleeds on inserts.
Search this site for gushers, you will find many posts.
Thanks for your reply. As you say, it’s not our hardest challenge, just one that is frustrating due to pain and mess but also because I always calculate the cost of wasting an infusion set! I know if/when I get a CGM, and a sensor fails, the cost would be multiplied.
Gross! I usually put pressure on with an alcohol wipe.