Infusion set life and death

Hi all. I have recently started using a steel sure t infusion set. Medtronic recommends replacing the steel sets every 2 days. My question is I’ve noticed that after two days I run higher BGs until I replace the infusion set which bring me back to normal. Anyone else seeing this behavior? This seems to be pretty consistent across many sites. Somewhat problematic as I use to use other sets like the mio and or angled sets which which last longer. Trying to figure out is this my body and or something else. I don’t have any reactions to the sets. Thanks in advanced. Ps- also heard Medtronic is working on an extended wear set to 8 to 10 days. This defies reason for everything I know about changing sites.


I think some people use the same sure-T set, but after 2 days take the needle portion out, move an inch or 2, and reinsert to new location. Additional tape as needed for needle site.

I tried sure-T samples, but didn’t like. In my 20+ years with Medtronic pump, Quicksets were my favorite. Now on Tandem, using equivalent of Mio, 3-4 days per site.

Hi - I use steel sets (tandem pump though) and I find at 3 days my BGs start to run higher. I do what @MM1 suggests, and just move the set a couple of inches, after applying a new spot of SkinTac first. Then I cover it with a 2" square of Hypafix tape, and do the “load” but only “fill canula”, and I get another 3 days from it. Then I change the whole cartridge/infusion set and start fresh! This has worked well for me for several years.

Thank. Did not think about just taking the steel portion out and priming. I thought they call for a complete different quadrant all together.?

I only used them once, with samples to try out, and it was awhile ago. But either online forum or medical team told me the “advantage” was that the cannula portion was moveable.

Not long after the Sure-Ts came out I tried a couple of boxes. I found them to be painful everywhere but my arms. After using most of them I didn’t order any more. Then I stopped using a CGM (I reserved my arms for those) and due to insurance changes (3 plans in one year!) I didn’t see my endo for a long time. I ended up using my last few Sure-Ts over and over, peeling them up and moving them around, for months. I always left them in for 3 days with no noticeable difference in BG. I was very glad to finally get back to an endo and get a new prescription for Silhouettes! But those Sure-Ts really saved me when I needed it.

Metal infusion sets have made my life so much easier. No more kinking! And they can be moved or reinserted if they get pulled out. I usually change mine every 3 days. I have gone as long as 4.5 days but by the end, sugars are starting to climb. Each of us has a sweet spot. Some people 2 days, some 3 and I remember when I first started pumping some of us were going 5 days. Yikes! If 2 is your magic number just make sure your prescription is written for that calculation. Otherwise you might run short at the end of the three months.

What do you mean by re-inserted? So when the set needs to be moved you just pull the needle out and try a different location 1 to 2 in away? I’ve heard others communicate this but I’m not sure I’m following.

Yup, that is what I do. Once when it got hooked on a cabinet knob, I just stuck it back in with a little tape to help it stay in place. I have also done it when having tests that require my pump to be off. I just pull it out & reinsert after the test with some tape. Unlike Teflon, which there is no way to safely try and reinsert due to kinking issues. Just one selling point to metal. But again, everyone is very different in what they like and what works for them.

ok I just need to wrap my head around using the same needle for another insertion

For other types of infusion sets, there is a needle inside the plastic cannula. When inserted to skin, the needle allows the plastic cannula to get under skin, but then needle retracts. So those sets cannot be re-inserted once removed.

You don’t have to move (reinsert) Sure-Ts, it is an optional choice that other sets don’t have. It is usually lowest cost option, since moving (reinserting) to new location can allow more days of use per set.

I have pulled outa set with a plastic cannula and I’ve been able to put it back in the same hole quite a few times.

Also I used to used a syringe 20 times before I threw it away. Not for cost or any good reason, just couldn’t see the point in getting a new one out.

I changed them when I couldn’t push it in any more!!!

This made me laugh. I never had trouble getting the week old syringes in…it was getting an “end of life” syringe OUT that was the problem. With the little barb that would develop on the end, might as well have been yanking a fishing hook out of your flesh!

I actually use to squeeze the needle between my forefinger and thumbnail to straighten the tip back out.

I’ve never had much interest in steel sets, since I’ve not any issue with the plastic cannulas, but this idea of being able to reuse them is appealing. Not for everyday use, since my usual pump supplies cost me very little, but for my doomsday stash.

Very funny. I suppose for us that pay for cash it can get very expensive. I do remember before pumps diabetics would re-use syringes. They would keep them in jars of alcohol between shots and use multiple times.

I am assuming that those who pushed reuse to great lengths never experienced an infected infusion or injection site.

After I went through that plus the antibiotic course that accompanied it, I became more conservative in how much I would risk another infected site. :man_shrugging:

I’ve never had site get infected. Not with old syringes and not with infusion sites. However sometimes get a little inflamed because I am a little allergic to the adhesive, but it’s gone in a day or 2.
Not sure any of you actually pay attention to it but when you get a CBC done they break your white cells into 5 basic groups.
The eosinophils are usually high for people on insulin because we poke ourselves all the time. Also if you have parasites, but for diabetics only slightly elevated.
In any case the eosinophils help prevent site infections, because your body sort of expects it and increases eosinophils.
Fun fact.

The point I was trying to make is that if/when you do get a site infection, it can, possibly, perhaps, maybe, change how you approach needle reuse.

Or not. Different strokes for different folks. In my case there was a period I always changed my site only after I had showered to try to take an extra step towards avoiding site infection. I really didn’t want to go through dealing with an infected site again.

I see what you mean, there is really no good reason to reuse needles. The hassle of reusing sets is also probably a bad idea, however people still do it

In almost 34 years of reusing syringes, pen needles, lancets and more as much as possible I am also lucky enough to never have an infection. Once I left a Silhouette infusion set in for 5 or 6 days and the site was red when I removed it but that went away quickly. I once left a Minimed CGM sensor (the original Sof-Sensor) in for 56 days. When it finally stopped giving reliable readings I took it out and could barely see where it had been on my skin.

Since using a pump I don’t really try to leave the soft cannula sets in longer than 3 days but have forgotten to change it many times so it was in for 4. When I reused the Sure-T sets I was moving it to a new location every 3 days so there was no one site that was overused.

I do have to say that when I finally psuh that little lever on my Accu-Chek FastClix lancing device to move to a new lancet, it does feel great on my fingers but there’s no way I’m changing that every time or even every day. Or week.

I’ve never worried that much about reusing lancets. My reasoning is that you’re less likely to get an infection because that puncture will be bleeding pushing potentially infectious stuff out of the body. Also, the lancet doesn’t go that deep, relatively.

The absolute worst puncture infection I can recall was a cat bite. Essentially a deep injection of bacteria into a finger. I started the antibiotics course the same day as the bite and it still took the 10 days+ to clear up.