How often do you change your infusion set?

I’ve been on the pump for almost a month now (a Minimed Paradigm 722). Before I started pumping, I knew Minimed said to change your site every three days. At my training I found that they count the day you insert the set as 1 day, and the day you change the set as 1 day. So really, they want to to change your site every other day. Hmmm, I don’t really consider that “3 days”.

So, what do the experienced pumpers do? Do you change your infusion set every other day? I have been - except for my last set. I inserted on a Tuesday and changed on Friday instead of Thursday. Is that risky?

Hi Karen,
I’ve been on the Animas1250 for almost two years. I change mine every three days. I changed it this morning so I will change again on Tuesday.

type 1 since June 2005
Animas1250 since June 2006

Thanks, good to know. That’s what I consider three days too - but according to Minimed, if you change today your next change would be Monday. I think I’ll start going a full three days like you - unless the site seems sore or something. :slight_smile:

I change my site every 5-6 days! (Meaning that I put it in on Friday and I will change it on Wednesday or Thursday).

At one point, I checked how long I could go without changing, and I have found that my sites are just as effective until day 5-6. I have left it in until day 8 (but I usually end up pretty high because of poor insulin absorption after day 6).

I don’t particularly like changing my sites and they are expensive, so this motivated me (with the reluctant permission of my doctor to see what the limit is). For some people, their skin would be infected if they waited this long, but I have not had problems. But perhaps I am more polka dotted than the average pumper!?!-- as the red dots take a couple months to disappear, but it works for me! I say try leaving it in 3 days, then 4 days, … and see if you have reduced insulin absorption (i.e. unexplained highs) or skin problems!

In the long run, this might not be a good idea ( I welcome criticism!), if I will lose absorption in my favorite site areas, but I rotate as much as possible between my stomach and buttocks, and lovehandles :slight_smile: and after 3.5 years of pumping, no problems.

Hope that you are getting used to and enjoying the pump!

I hate giving this answer because that’s all you hear with diabetes, but it’s completely up to your body as to how often you have to change.

When I first started pumping almost 8 years ago (gasp- has it been that long?) I couldn’t make one day with the sets I had. The itching was intense. So I went to bent needles. No, they did not hurt and I could keep them in for 3-4 days without me having to gouge my itchy skin off. Eventually, I switched to silhouettes. I leave them in until I run out of insulin, usually about 4-5 days. The fda mandates that minimed say change your site every 3 days because of safety issues, but if you don’t experience infections and scarring and no absorbtion issues, I leave it in. If by day #3 you start seeing high numbers because your wound is starting to heal and bind up the insulin, then you’ll have to change every other day. Test and see what your body does!
Good luck!

Thanks to both of you, your input is really helpful to me. I’m not discouraged by any “try and see what your body does” answers - they make sense and are good advice. With my last two sets, I’ve been going with 3 days (72 hours, not 48) and it seems to be going well. I’ll keep up with this, as long as I don’t see any problems, and then talk to my endo about it when I see him at the end of the month. He’s always been very straight with me - when I was on injections with the pen he told me my needle tip could last a day (instead of changing it out after one injection like they tell you to do).

Thanks for the advice - and I still welcome input from anyone else who might come across this thread!

I used to be able to go 3-5 days, but now I’m lucky if I can go 2. This just seemed to happen in the past month or so. You can imagine how depressed I am; my time dealing with diabetes has increased, and I am always thinking about where I’m going to be and what I’m going to be doing when I need to change my set. I cry about it almost every day. I joined tudiabetes for help with this issue. I’ve been pumping for almost 19 years, and I’ve expanded my site areas a lot. I just hate having it in a place where my clothes rub against it, or like my thigh where moving your leg you’d feel it. I was planning on pumping for at least another 19 years, what is my skin going to be like then? Is there anybody out there who has pumped longer than I have?

Dear Marie, I’m so sorry to hear about this and it must be SO frustrating!! There’s enough to deal with without having new problems :frowning:

Have you tried using your the area on your back about your hips (“love handles”). I found these surprisingly comfortable!

yes, I just tried that area on Monday. I wanted a really unused spot because yesterday I was going to be a “holder” at a big quilt judging all day an hour away from home. It started to bother me a bit, and my blood sugar was running high. I kept testing (didn’t want the judges to see me, because we were wearing white gloves AnyWay to make sure we didn’t even get any sweat on the quilts - imagine the horror of blood!) and bolusing, and finally it went down - I guess I was stressed and nervous (quilt shows can be very competitive). So I changed it this morning (that’s 2 days - big whoopie) and it felt sooo good to rip it out!

I have never really been that good with changing my infusion set… its one of the reasons my blood sugars go so high.

I’m on the Minimed Paradigm pump and I really like it because it holds more insulin that any of my other pumps have. When I was on other pumps I would fill the reservoir every other day and change the actual infusion set every three days. I would usually forget whether I changed it last time or just filled it, so my infusion sets would stay on for anywhere from 4 days to a week or more. Needless to say, the site would eventually stop absorbing the insulin and my blood sugars would sky rocket…
Now that I’m on a pump with more insulin, I can actually last the three days on one reservoir. I set it up to where I always change on Sundays and Wednesdays.

Leaving the set in for a day isn’t really risky in my opinion. I would worry about leaving it in for longer periods of time. I was told that if you leave the site in for too long, the skin stops absorbing the insulin, so the pump isn’t doing its job anymore. This has happened to me quite a few times (you’d think I’d learn). It can also cause scaring… which doesn’t look very pretty. I have a few.

(Type 1 since May 2001)
(Pumping Minimed since January 2002)

Thanks, that’s all very good info. I’ve been doing okay with changing every three days - except for my last one. I had put the set in on Monday and planned to change it on Thursday. But Wednesday afternoon I had some blood sugars in the low 200’s - for no apparent reason. The site also felt a bit sore, and later I remembered I had kind of snagged it with the towel when I had gotten out of the shower (didn’t pull it out or anything, but the towel definately swiped it good). By Wednesday evening, I wasn’t any lower than 180’s, so I changed out the set right away. Since then, I’ve been fine.

So it seems I do okay with three days - as long as I pay attention and change sooner if it looks like I need to. :slight_smile:

I change my infusion set once for every two resevior rewinds. I have only ever had two infections from doing so. I’ve asked my health care provider about it and she says it’s ok, it’s not recommended by the manufacturer, but most leave it on longer than recommended and no one has had major complications from it.

Sorry to hear about your troubles, Marie. I’ve only been on the pump for 7 years (Diabetic for 16) and I’m having the same troubles you’ve had. For the longest time I did it in my stomach, but after a while the scar tissue was so bad and so heavy that it hurt to get it in, and then it would fall out, and my sugars were so high because it wasn’t absorbing. About 2 months ago my doc suggested I switch to my thighs, which work much better, but the problem is now I’m getting those areas getting irritated and it’s getting hard to find spots to stick it in! :stuck_out_tongue: Haha sorry- I guess I was no help…just commiserating. Misery loves company, eh? :slight_smile:

oh, please, some days I just wonder what my scar tissue is going to be like in another 20 years. Do you ever feel like it’s “crunchy” when you stick it in? I think that’s the scar tissue - I just ordered an inserter, do you use one? I always use emla cream so I won’t feel anything, I’m such a wuss about pain - do you? - here’s hoping you can find a virgin spot for your next site