Recovered >29 units of Insulin via syringe: now what do I do?

I had a Pod 'fail' that is, beep and deactivated itself on Sunday and since it was past the 72hr mark, I was just counting down to the 80hr mandatory change and had more expensive insulin left in the Pod and for the 1st time was successful in extracting enough for one full day for me (use Humulin -R 500 which is 5x). I used the same syringe I used to fill the replacement pod, using swabs to touch the needle tip, port, etc. The syringe and it's contents are resting in my silicone bead cooler pac. Should I sanitize again all surfaces and just draw the amount of my insulin from the vial to the amount I need (85 units) and inject this into that new Pod? I don't want to contaminate the vial as it costs so very much and my insurance won't cover it since my allowance for the year is exhausted at a $45 co-pay, now it would be over $160. Please offer some advice or suggestions.

I have only reused insulin on pods that fail on priming or for whatever reason are torn from the location within a few hours of applying. I would say that the sound advice would be to never reuse insulin after the 80 hr period, as it would pose the risk of contamination. Regardless of how many precautions you take cleaning all surfaces, you will have a greater risk of contamination. On the practical side, though, all you mentioned seems to improve the cleanliness of your instruments. Ideally you would be able to start priming your pod with less insulin to better match your actual insulin usage, but I am aware that you are already using close to the minimum to prime.

All in all, if you are worried about contamination you could draw insulin from the vial with a fresh syringe and then try to recover insulin from the used pod, that way your vial is not contaminated but it would be a crap-shot as to whether you get any insulin from your used pod.

To consider: If you do this several times, after a couple of weeks you will have an insulin that is a mix of 4-5 different batches, is this something you are okay with? would you limit the number of times you reuse your left-over insulin?

I hope any of what I wrote is helpful and that you forgive anything that sounded like rambling.


Keep in mind we're all dispensing free, non-expert advice here.

That said... I'm a strong believer in good aseptic technique. Assuming everything that says it's sterile actually is (like a pod, the syringe, insulin in bottle), then taking care (as you are) to ensure aseptic handling of the insulin should work. Don't be scared of mysterious boogey-bugs sneaking in somewhere.

Although I'm pretty new to this, and asked about leftover insulin on this group a week or two ago, I've gotten used to transferring unused insulin when there (bad pod, for example). I use 91% isopropyl alcohol, and like you use Q-tips and sterile pads with the alc to sterilize every surface, rubber port, needle, etc. before it has any contact with insulin.

Again, IMO, if you take care (and I'd recommend 91% isopropyl over the more typical 70% -- can't get prep pads in anything higher than 70%, so gotta buy the bottle at walgreens and use it with cotton pads), you shouldn't have a problem.

If you re-coffer the insulin, you have to wait at least 1 day because of the air that is in the insulin.

Insulin is at least 4 weeks good so do not do it to often or you will have to much old and new insulin in one dose.

I would be interested in knowing what you mean by this? Waiting a day because of air bubbles in the insulin doesn’t make sense to me. If that were the case, you would have to wait a day after filling a pod because of air? Sorry, this just confuses me.

Because of the pressure you have to use to get the insulin out of the pod.

Thanks, Just so I can put this to bed in my head though, is this a theory or did you get information somewhere like Insulet or another source?

Another source.