Do you change your Infusion Set and Reservoir at the same time?

Sometimes when its time to change my site, I notice my reservoir still has quite a bit of insulin in it. Do you guys change the infusion set and the reservoir or just infusion set. It seems easier to me just to do the whole enchilada at one time, but I’m still new at this pumping thing. Also, last night when I changed my site, it bled like crazy when I removed the old one. Took me about 10 minutes to get it stop bleeding. Today there is a big round bruise where that set was. Maybe I waited too long to change it? I don’t know. And maybe its normal.

Hi Bobby.I started pumping in February of 2008 and what my Diabetes team told me is that you can change your infusionset every 3 days and the cartridge can go 6 days.If your pump has a total daily dose you can figure on how much you need for 6 days.For example I use about 13 units a day plus I prime my tubing each time I change my set.So I figured I need about 110 units in my cartridge,give or take a few units.I only waste about 15 units.This has worked pretty good for me.I have hit a vein too with my set.It didn’t bleed alot though.

That’s how I do it, Dee. I change my cartridge every two set changes on my current pump. For the first few years I pumped, I did it all at once. I think each pumper has to find what works best for them, but I like doing it this way.

I change my site every 3 days like clockwork. Ever since I left a set in for five days and got a staph infection (and a small lump which makes that area unusable now), I don’t play around with leaving sets in for longer than recommended.

Hi Bobby, there is a similar discussion How often do you change your infusion set? and I started a discussion on the same topic as yours and I cannot find it.

My son has been a pumper for a year now. We have noticed that after 3 days, the insulin that is in the pump needs to be changed, his bg starts to rise… So that depends on the brand of insulin you are using I guess. So, during summer, since it is hot, we change everything every 2 days and when it gets colder, we change it every 3 days. If we do not put anything over his little see-through window where the cannula goes through (like a Tegaderm or an IV 3000), then it’s 2 days because infection starts, otherwise it’s 3 days. For him, we cannot push it more than 3 days because there is a little pinkish dot where the cannula goes in that appears sometimes and we really do have to change it. We have not tried it to push changing the set to 4 days because we see a rise in his bg on the 3rd day.

Most of the time, it does not bleed, I can say that it really did not happen that often that it bled.

I change everything at once, but I don’t fill my cartridge. I only put enough to last about 3 days in it. Those bleeders are pretty infrequent for most people I think. I’ve been pumping for over 4 years, and I’ve probably only had 4, maybe 5 of them.

Hi Dee,
I’m curious now though. You say you only use 13 units of insulin a day? I use about 110 per day. I guess its just take some time to get used to this. Thanks for your info. I need all the help I can get.

I do the same as LeAnn. I only fill reservoir with enough insulin for 3 days and change them both at the same time. As for the bleeding, it happens. I have been pumping for 8 years now and it has happened maybe 5 or 6 times but it has happened. In fact, it happened just last week. I thought I would never get it to stop bleeding. I hope you checked your BG at that time because it always makes mine go up.

Thanks Lee Ann,
So you change everything out every 3 days? I’m just trying to find what works for me. right now I’m using about 110 units of insulin a day so my reservoir is empty actuall just a little before 3 days is up. Roughly 2 and half or maybe less. Thanks for the info, I appreciate it.

I fill enough for 3 days and a bit for priming…change the whole enchalada and my CGMS every three day (I am one of those whoes body will not tolerate a CGMS for more than 3 days either-yeah bummer)

I don’t need alot of insulin.Even one shots I used 6nph in the morning 3 humalog at supper and 3 nph at bedtime.I sometimes need more especially if my numbers are off.How long have you been pumping?

Bobby: I change mine at the same time, most of the time. I’ve tried extending the infusion site a couple of times, but it starts to get irritated. I will, sometimes, refill a reservoir with enough insulin to get me a couple more hours if I’m almost empty before bed or before a meal, but not more than 12 hours anymore.

As for the bleeding, it happens on average about once a year, and it does not have anything to do with how long the infusion set has been in. It’s a real gusher, though, sometimes like a water fountain. My endo said it was because we sometimes hit a vein when we put the infusion set in and when the pressure is released, out comes the blood.

I change both for two reasons:

  1. I get one infusion set for each reservoir
  2. I have a good estimate of how much insulin I use between changes, so I don’t usually have enough insulin left over to make it worth preserving.

You’re bleeding could simply be a one off item. You might have poked a capillary or broken one as you remove the set. Your canulus might have extended below the skin.

It happens, it’s just one of those things. If it keeps happening, though, talk to your pump rep about changing the type of infusion set you use.

BTW, I’d be cautious about leaving insulin in my reservoir for more than three days. I have been told, but have not read anywhere, that the insulin loses its effectiveness after three days. Something about things crystallizing.

The only way to check, I suppose, is to carelfully track and compare your bolusing and BGs between the first three days and the second three days.