How often do you get occlusions?

I am starting to think that there are certain areas on my stomach that will cause me problems if I use them, specifically the area within about 4 inches of my belly button. Anyone else noticed something like that?

In this area, I tend to get lots of occlusions and bleeds. I changed sets on Sunday morning and when I pulled it out, I bled like a stuck pig, Literally, I had to clean it off the floor since I had nothing to blot it with handy. It stopped quick, but geesh

So how often do you have to change sets because of occlusion or bleeding? Are there certain areas of your body that cause more problems than others?

Hardly ever.

I can’t put infusion sites in my legs for some reason - but occlusions - maybe I’ve had one or two. Can’t remember.

What infusion set are you using?

I was using the Medtronic Silhouette (it has a cannula), but had so many problems that I switched to the Sure-T (it has a needle).

Hi Scott, we were told (and follow the advice) to put the infusion set two-fingers away from the belly button. Generally, we don’t get any bleeding after removing a set. We were also told to try and change a site before a meal, that way if there is an infinite piece of skin in the cannula because of insertion, than with a bolus it will come out. We cannot always time the site change with a meal (or snack) and sometimes my son gets higher reading after the change (maybe what they said sometimes applies, but wouldn’t it come out when we fill the cannula?..). Best of luck with the pump!

Hey Scott,
I am no expert,I have only been pumping for about 2 weeks. On my 3rd cartridge change, I got an occlussion alarm… I was out without my manual and extra set-up.I was stuck and panic mode set in. I do not remember any alarm training, I figured it out and finished dinner and returned home to read the manual.I had just changed the site to about 4 inches to the right of my belly button 4 hours before the occlussion. I thought just change the insertion site and things would grand.I wont be using that site for a while. I have not had any bleeding issues yet.

Scott: I don’t know about your manufacturer, but Medtronic advises NOT to get near the belly button. If that’s the only site you have bleeding trouble with and occlusions, they I would say that’s a pretty good guess. Of course, I have had occlusion messages. But I am SURE that is because I was a bad girl and my sugars were too high since the only time I get that message is in the Bolus Wizard. If you are unsure of an occlusion occcuring when you change, don’t you do a fixed prime of at least .5 units to avoid that? I also make sure to push the plunger on my reservoir til it comes out of the Quickset cannula/needle BEFORE I put it in my body. Hope this helps. Lois La Rose

Thanks Lois,

Medtronic is indeed my manufacturer. I had a dual problem.

First, I was having some type of an immune response to Humalog where I would get a knot around the site and then insulin would seep back up. The pump thought it delivered it, but it was just coming back out. Switching to Novalog solved that problem. I had been on Humalog for a very long time. Rotating injection sites minimized the problem before I started pumping, but once I started the insulin all went in at exactly the same spot. This reaction to the Humalog probably explains some of the other issues I was having before pumping.

The second problem was just my physiology, I need to put my insertion sets in about 6 inches from my belly button before I can consistently avoid bleeds.

Once I switched to Novalog and moved the sites further away from my belly-button, things started working much better. I have even been able to switch from the Sure-T sets back to the Silhouette sets (i find them more comfortable).

Happy 2009!



Lois La Rose

Hey Scott,
I use the Silhouette too, and after trying the Quick set, and the Sure-T, I like the Silhouette the best. The absorption rate is good, they install easily by hand, never an occlusion or No Delivery. I’m sold on the Silhouette. My wife says that’s why they make chocolate and vanilla though. What works for one may not work for another.

So far - have been pumping since Oct 2007 - and haven’t had any occulusions or bleeding. I use either the 45 or 90 degree infusion sets (use Animas 2020) - and put infusion sets in my legs/stomach/hip area. I recently started having my hubby put my 90 degree into my lower back area - and I find that I forget that I have an infusion set in me. I thought I would at first - since I sleep on my back - but don’t even know it’s there. Absorption is fine as well. It took awhile for me to get comfortable with him putting them on me (I like to administer my own pain - have been doing it over 40 years ) - but am now glad I am having him put them in the back from time to time. I’d like to try my arms one day - but will have to ask my hubby to assist with that!

since i got my first pump in November i have not had an alarm. i don’t get what the an occlusion is. i guess ill find out when i get that alarm.

An occlusion is basically a clogged, pinched, bent cannula on an insertion set.

I was able to swtich back to the Silhouette sets from the Sure-Ts. The Sure-Ts worked fine, I just didn’t find them as comfortable. Esp when the cat jumped on one when I was lying on the couch

Three weeks into using my new pump, I got an occlusion. The site was in my lower belly where I’d been injecting for years. I do have some fatty nodules that haven’t healed yet, so I’m sure that was the problem.

Changed the site back up to above my belly button and all is working fine. Did have a site failure on last change from a bent cannula. Knew what to do both times although had to spend the next few hours watching my BGL come down while working out boluses that my pump thought I’d had.

I use the Inset II, and Animas 2020.

Good news! I am on my third mini med pump (pumping for 10 years) and I have the problems you experience more than I would care to admit. I take baby aspirin for my heart health and that makes me bleed more than normal. Do you use the inserter for your silohuettes or do you insert your set manually? I get more alarms with my latest Paradigm 522 for NO DELIVERY than I have ever had with my MiniMed 508 or other Paradigm. Good luck and thanks for sharing.

David has not been able to use his legs for site changes for about a year now, just too muscular which frequently results in bleeding at the site or bent cannula’s that adversely affect insulin delivery. He is a silhouette user. 13 mm on the front near his belly and 17 mm on the butt.

While it has not happened in a very long time, during the first 1/2 year of pumping he would get no delivery alarms with a certain amount of frequency. A lot of the time I think it was from bunching up the tubing and then tightening his belt over the bunched up tubing that was causing no delivery alarms. Just way too much tubing at 23" when the site and pump are only a few inches apart. He has learned to leave the tubing looser and not worry so much that it might catch on something and that has meant, 0 no delivery alarms for some time now.