Expiration of reservoirs, infusion sets, etc

I have always tried to keep a generous excess supply of pump supplies (reservoirs, infusion sets), so I’m prepared in the event something goes wrong (i.e. UPS delivery problems, loss of medical coverage, etc). Last night, I tried to organize this, and at the bottom of the pile, found a box of reservoirs that was sent to me in December of 1997 (!) – apparently, I didn’t rotate supplies properly and didn’t use the oldest ones first.

Apparently, these reservoirs and infusion sets have expiration dates on them. I understand the point of expiration dates on insulin, test strips, and glucagon, but on reservoirs? Infusion sets? Tubing?

Does something bad happen when these supplies “expire”? Does the tubing become brittle or porous, the lubricant between the plunger and the inside-wall (somewhere I read that it exists) of the reservoir become inactive? Or is it just a way for the supplier to limit their liability or pump up sales?

Of course I use more care with insulin and strips, paying close attention to their expiration dates (I also go through them much faster - not stretching out 2 days worth to last 4 days like I do with the pump supplies), so it’s not a concern for me there.

I’m not sure. I’ve always felt that syringes got duller over time, but I still have a huge box of them just in case. I suspect the o-rings would be the area that would have the most potential for problems?

I believe that nothing happens to a infusion set or reservior, but it’s the packaging that expires. Pump supplies undergo extensive testing to prove that the supplies are sterile when you open them. Since all kinds of product packaging decays (time, temperature, humidity, exposure to sunlight, handling) , the expiration date on sterile packaging is the theoretical limit of sterility on any given package. past expiration the package no longer guarantees the product is sterile, therefore you take your own chances. I couldn’t guess how big of a chance that actually is, since immediately after opening your pump supplies the product is also “no longer sterile” in the eyes of the FDA. Hope this helps.