Bent cannulas! HELP!

I’ve been pumping for about 7 years. I use a Medtronic minimed, and the Medtronic quickset for tubing. I didn’t have any issues with bent cannula tubes until about 1 year ago. Suddenly I started having at least two bent cannulas a month. I tried using different sites, and going back to my old inserter. My biggest struggle has been that I don’t realize that my prolonged elevated blood sugar is due to receiving no insulin for several hours, by the time I figure it out I have the “diabetic flu” (I think I made up this term(?)). I get sick out of both ends and feel like I have the stomach flu. It’s horrible! And I have two small children to take take care of; I can’t live like this!
Has anyone else experienced this as a continuing problem?
Any suggestions as to what I can do?

Ugh, bent canulas suck! I use Mio’s with a Minimed pump. I’ve always had pretty decent experience with them but I had a run of bad insertions, pull-outs and bad adhesive patches back in March/April. I don’t know if it was bad luck or if I’d received a bad lot—the tech support person I talked with said it could have been the latter. They ended up sending me a whole box of replacements and since then it’s been back to normal.

One thing you might consider is trying Sure-T sets, with a stainless steel needle and manual insertion. I’ve used them occasionally and there are a few people here who swear by them. No chance of a bent cannula, and they have some other advantages in terms of scarring, absorption, resisting pull-outs and the like.

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Yes! Switch to Sure-T’s. I had to do that about 15 years ago. I’d have as many as 2 QUick Sets bent per WEEK

I think experimenting with different cannula sets will help you identify an infusion set that will perform more dependably for you. Steel cannulas, as others have suggested, are a good place to start.

You may need an infusion set whose cannula depth is different than your current one. Experiment with both shorter and longer cannulas. You may also want to try an angled cannula. I have had good experience with angled sets.

What parts of your body do you use for your sites? Have you tried any new sites? When I had this problem, I exclusively used my abdomen to infuse insulin. I then started inserting my sets on my “love handles,” the area above my hip bones and reaching around to my back. This move alone greatly enhanced dependable absorption.

By the way, the “diabetic flu” that you write about sounds like a warning sign of impending diabetic keto-acidosis or DKA. What is your blood sugar level when this happens? Do you test for ketones under this circumstance? DKA is a lethal complication and needs to be treated with eyes-wide-open respect.

Good luck with finding the answer that works for you.

As I said before, I beg to differ on your conflating a steel needle with the term “cannula”. I just lifted this from Medtronic: “At the end of the tubing is either a soft, flexible cannula or a stainless steel needle.” I also linked to a webpage on the other thread where we were discussing this issue…

Like others I suggest that you try some other sets. I have branched out a few times and always returned to quick sets. I suggest a Silhouette set. I like the mio sometimes.

Have you changed location or gained/lost weight? Sometimes changing the cannula length will help. Check with your endo/CDE if they can provide samples, or call Medtronics. I had samples delivered to me one time by Medtronics Rep when Endo sent them message, and they were in town.

I have used Quicksets for over 10 years, usually in stomach, without problems.

Try stainless steel needles. I switched to them after similar problems with plastic. They don’t bend and overall all I have less problems although they irritate me over time and they are sometimes very painful, I remove the super painful ones.

Yes, I had a baby last March, and ever since then I started having trouble with the bent cannulas. I wondered if my body’s physical changes were a huge factor in this.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I live in Japan. But not in Tokyo, where several pumping options may (or may not) exist. In my prefecture only one hospital deals with pumping diabetics, and only the Medtronic pumps are used. So, within those boundaries, I’m hoping to find a solution with longer cannulas or the slanted I insertion method (can’t remember the proper term for that!)
I have never been given test strips to check for ketoacidosis, but my blood sugars are usually above 300 when I get sick. (I’ve seen 500, but I was at 650 when diagnosed!) I’ve never learned much about ketoacidosis (insert ashamed face!) but I guess it’s time!

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Yes, I’ve had two, sometimes three back to back! It’s such a nightmare!

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I used them, usually without lots of problems for a few years (other than leakage at the connector (faulty manufacturing of some lots)) but then the bent cannula (no delivery) issue became so frequent I nearly quit pumping. I wondered at the time if they changed the design a tiny bit or my body was no longer compatible with them (scar tissue likely). In any event, someone online mentioned Sure-T’s, so I got samples from MM and that was the solution for me.