Filling the cartridge

Hi all,

I have done all the things they told us in pumping class and have followed the video by Animas but still seem to have some tiny bubbles when I fill the cartridge.

I have tapped the side of the cartridge with my finger, a pencil etc and then tried to push a little insulin back in the bottle but the bubbles are still there. This usually happens when the vial is getting low.

The bubbles are very small but I have rarely been able to get a bubble free cartridge.

Any advice.

hey keith… what i’ve done is slow at first, then at about 50% full i give the cartridge a few kinda hard taps on the side then i’ll push the plunger (a little bit agressively) then as i start to pull back again, i just move slow until it’s full and i’m typically good to go… hopefully this helped :slight_smile:

It is a plastic cartridge and indestructible - no need to gently tap - give it a few good “flitzes” (sorry for the German!) with your finger - you can rest the bottle on the needle and still do that with the needle inside - you won’t bend the needle either. Then push what is now at the top of the syringe back into the bottle gently, move the syringe way down so you are nowehere near air, and you should be able to fill the rest without problems. I practiced with water (cheaper!) until I got the technique down…

Hi Keith -

I have found that taking it s-l-o-w helps (not natural to me :slight_smile: When I get bubbles, I slowly push the insulin back in to the bottle and try again…if I do it too quickly, it creates more bubbles. Also, I am careful not to shake or move the vial around much before I begin.

However, since you said it happens when the vial is getting low - watch your needle - it should NOT “stick out” from the insulin remaining in the vial. When my vial is low, I push the needle in only far enough so that it doesn’t emerge into the “empty air” above the insulin - does that make sense? (hard to describe)

Hope that helps.
Hope that helps.

Two things:

Is the insulin vial at room temperature, they say bubbles form when the insulin is straight out of the fridge.

Second, try tapping with a metal biro rather than a pencil or your finger, a tip I picked up on Insulin Pumpers.

I get the cartridge bubble free on filling, it is when I change it that there are usually small bubbles in the remaining insulin, one reason I never empty the cartridge completely. No idea where they come from

A lot of good suggestions here. I’d also recommend something I’ve done a few times when I have a vial that’s getting low: Try using a cartridge and needle to pull out the remaining insulin and put it into a fuller bottle. Makes it a lot easier than trying to pull insulin out without putting the needle in too far. If you try this, it might be a good idea to let the new bottle sit for a little so the bubbles caused by the move can settle.

Another good trick: Sometimes you’ll get vials that the air pressure seems a little off, like from pushing too much/not enough air into the vial when drawing insulin. If this happens to you, you can remove the needle part from the cartridge and insert it into the vial. Works very well! You hear the “pssshhhh” of the air releasing and you’re all set! :slight_smile: I like this trick. I’ve found that your “air pressure” in your vial is really important when trying to avoid air bubbles.

Practice makes perfect! Keep workin on it :slight_smile: It’s not like you won’t have a lot of opportunities lol

Good tips! Thanks!

I have added to a full bottle the rest and have noticed that they seem to put just enough insulin in a new bottle and air space to put the catridge air in the bottle. Adding more into a new bottle did not work until I had used some. Thanks for all the help. I know it will work now.

I was just fooling around with those little bubbles today. I do my best and then ignore the few that remain. For the larger ones, our endo recommends making a tornado with the cartridge. You swirl it a couple time hard - keeping it in the upright position - that spins the bubbles together and up to the center. Then I can shoot 'em out.