Pump infusion set insertion failure

I’ve been using the Silhouette 13 mm infusion set for almost a year now. This set is design for an angled manual insertion and may also be deployed using the spring-loaded Sil-serter inserter. Silhouette is a Medtronic infusion set.

This morning I needed to place a new infusion set and ran into an unusual failure. Let me preface my comment with the note that I’ve experienced a high degree of success with this infusion set. It’s been rock solid for me.

When I inserted this set with my Sil-serter this morning, I had difficulty withdrawing the introducer needle. I needed to used considerable force to pull it out. I was somewhat surprised to see this bent needle when it did come out.

I replaced the site with another one even though I was tempted to leave it in service, thinking that even a bent cannula could deliver service provided it was not kinked. My better judgment prevailed and I’m glad I didn’t try to salvage some value out of this infusion site. Here is what the cannula looked like when I pulled it.

Sorry for the fuzzy focus, I tried my best to make my cell-phone camera reproduce what I could see. While it’s tricky to control the focus, you can see the tortuous angle of the cannula. While it looked like the cannula is not kinked, it’s severe angle change looks like it would have highly increased the chances of a failed site.

The lesson I take from this: if it takes any unusual amount of force to withdraw the introducer needle, it’s best to abandon that site and use a new replacement set.

Anyone else experience something like this?

1 Like

Oh my! bent needle? had never seen that before :frowning: i would’ve had a panic attack that’s for sure. Do you think the site was the cause?

For me bent needles are torture devices. The tissue around them gets so sore I can’t leave them in more than about a day or so sometimes even less. I only tried wearing about three of them. That was many many years ago. My hat’s off to anyone who can tolerate them

@Dave44 - I was not using a “bent needle” infusion set. My Silhouette needle was bent while it was being inserted.

@Mariana11 - I’m sure exactly what caused it. Maybe I didn’t hold the Sil-serter steady enough or perhaps the underlying tissue deflected the trajectory of the needle somehow.

Terry, I can’t tolerate the Silhouettes either. Not a whole lot different in uncomfortableness(not a real word?) and the cause of redness, itching and swelling than the bent needle types. I lump those all together. Sorry for my earlier impreciseness.

I actually have about a decade old box of Sils that I used to get the very long tubing they have as an option, to use along with my Sure-T’s. Sure-T’s length isn’t accurately portrayed by their official description. Don’t know why they haven’t changed their very optimistic take on their longest version. I complained to MM years ago. Measure the overall length of the “long” Sure-T and see how much shorter it is than the description. False advertising for sure.

I use the Silhouette’s all the time–never had that happen to me though? The insertion needle is quite long and thin on the angled infusion set’s, are you hitting a lump (lipohypertrophy) Are you rotating the sites well enough? Maybe you flinched at the last min and bent it ? Or did you just hit a Bone :slight_smile: Just kiddin on that last one --Cheers

Thinking more about this incident. Looking down at my rounded abdomen (no six-pack here!), I usually insert my angled sets in the “uphill” direction with respect to the curvature of my abdomen. When the set is placed, it’s easy with one hand to make the tubing connection with a simple right to left or left to right, hand motion.

Since I am right-handed, the sets inserted on my right side provide for a simple final connection using my right hand. This time, instead of inserting in the “uphill” direction on my left side, necessitating a left handed final tubing connection, I inserting the set going downhill on my left side. I think I didn’t hold the Sil-serter at a sufficient angle and that led to a glancing needle insertion and the bent needle.

Whew! That was a challenge to describe in words-only and I probably lost most of you. Sorry!