Infections at pump sites

Has anyone else experienced infections at pump sites? I currently have two open sores on my stomache where my pod was located, both are infected. My doctor said left unattended you could die from this situation. I have been on antibiotics for 10 days and still no sign of healing. I see my doctor again this Friday. I was told to use injections until this is cleared up. Have you heard of this type of thing? How long before it healed and went away? Would like some info and help on this. I wipe site with alcohol swab before applying pod, and after washing with soap and water.

Hi Marcia! I have to change my site every two days instead of three because my site will get red if I wear my site for three days. I called my Endo and he told me to change my site every two days instead of three because of the redness. So you might want to try that before you give up on the pump.

Thank you Shawna, but I already change my site every two days. The OmniPod only holds 200units of insulin, so I change every 2-2 1/2 days. Main reason I am rethinking is because of cost plus now cost of trying to clear the infection up. Of course the idea of dieing has me thinking…

Dave, is Hibiclens used as a wipe before applying pod? Or after removing to prevent infection? I have never used Betadine.

How is your immune system?

I’ve had a pump for 9 years and never had an infection.

Something else is going on here.

Is the tape over the insert good? What is your personal hygiene like?
Have you had tests run on the responsiveness of your immune system?

Have you tried going far from your stomach? Upper gluts (butt)
or even lower gluts? Thighs?

Could there be a bacteria in your subcutaneous tissue?

Just thinking what questions I’d ask?



Eric as far as I know my immune system is fine. I had a flu(regular) about 6 weeks ago. I wore a traditional pump for 7 years with no problems, then suddenly had something similar to this happen. I ended up in the hospital for a night and off work for 6 weeks. They opened and drained the area, then packed it, site was left open to drain and VN came to check and repack daily. That was 5 or 6 years ago…no problems since. No tape on insert, I am using the OmniPod. Yes my personal hygiene is good…shower every day, wash hands before changing pod and area where placing pod, use alchol wipe before placing pod. No tests run on Immune system because I have no insurance. Yes, I use both arms and leg as sites for pod. Not sure about bacteria in the subcutaneous tissue…have to check with Dr on that when I see him tomorrow. Last time this happened was told by two different Doctors that my hygiene routine was very good, or I would have had problems before. Sores are looking better and less tender at this time. Still not happy with the situation.

Saw my doctor on Friday. He gave me a clean bill of health, said the sores are healing nicely…no more infection. Instructed to continue use of ointment to be safe. Still doesn’t want me to use pod for another week. Dr wondered if canula is latex and if I may have developed allergy to latex. Does anyone know what exactly is used to build the pod? I feel a little better, but my wallet is lighter! I think I’ll avoid the abdomen and stomach area for awhile. Thanks for your comments everyone!

I have been on the omni pod now for a couple of years however back in September I started getting infections same as you, I usually wear the pod on my arm and switch routinely in different spots but all of a sudden it just started getting infected, you know swollen, sore, filled hole where the captula was open these sort of things so I quit the omni pod figuring I just needed a break and now I start back up a few days ago and the same thing is happening again. Did you ever find an answer to what your problem may be?? I can’t find anyone to help me with this… Doctors recommend all I have already tried. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Virginia

Two things happened to me.

I was on Medtronic pump for 2.5 years. I also got really bad infections on my stomach (have about 100 bumps on my stomach where the pump was even after 3 years after going back to MDI)

1. I turned out to be allergic to the catheters that the pump leaves under the skin. The reaction that I got was red, itchy, painful and pussing pump sites. I also rotated sites once every 2 days and cleaned with alcohol “IV prep” swabs.

'2. My Endo and some studies (though some will argue with me about this) confirm that Humalog is sometimes too thick to go through the tubing on the pumps. This would cause my insulin to “back up” in the tubing,also pulling back some blood into the tube. Painful and also didn’t help the infections.

Needless to say, I ended up coming off the pump after 5 ketoacidosis episodes where my pump wasn’t pumping insulin, but it didn’t notify me. Bad experience.

Some will argue with my findings, but going back to MDI has lowered my A1c by 2 points (thought I STILL need some work) The scarring on my stomach is annoying to me (looks like scales) but other than that, I’m just glad to be alive.

So, I hope you figure it out. I do not regret using the pump as I learned a lot about my body and it’s natural highs and lows while using it.
I hope this helps. I would lean toward you being allergic to one of the materials the insertion catheter is made out of.

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Did they culture the infected site? There are some really bad resistant strains of staph out there right now that could make you more susceptible to skin infections… MRSA is a terrible bug that many people carry without knowing on their skin and in the nasal passages. Your doctor can do a nose swab to see if you are a carrier. Hibiclens, like Dave suggested, is great skin prep for MRSA prevention without irritating the skin too much. If you are a carrier, there is a nasal antibiotic ointment that will wipe it out.