Sites bleeding

Does anyone know what might cause infusion sites to bleed beyond just a "bad site"? I have had ongoing problems with allergies to infusion sets over the past few years which. I am currently using Comforts (same as Minimed Silhouettes, I believe) and my endo recommended I try needle sets to see if that helps. I've been putting this off because the last time I tried needle sets they bled about 50% of the time I used them, for some reason. Still, I need to get my butt in gear and call the nurse my endo gave me.

Currently, I am changing my sets every two days, by which point they are usually fairly itchy, and I change them sooner if they get irritated or itchy before the two-day mark. I'm also taking extra-strength antihistamines daily for seasonal/environmental allergies and also Benadryl some days if I have an outright allergic reaction (usually to food). For the past month or two this seemed to work well so it just encouraged me to put off calling the diabetes nurse.

I usually mever have problems with sites bleeding except the needle sets above. The past few weeks, however, I've had three instances of my sites just completely dying and being covered in blood when I remove them. I don't think these are "bad sites" because they don't hurt going in and work fine for the first 24 hours. One was on my left abdomen, one on my right abdomen, and one on my right arm, so they haven't been in the same areas, either.

Basically what happens is I test, find my blood sugars in the 20-25 mmol/L range (350-450 mg/dl), don't come down for hours, and when I remove the site the adhesive is bloody (but not the cannula).

This happened today at work, I tested after lunch at 20.7 (373 mg/dl) and after three corrections was still 11.8 (212 mg/dl) almost six hours later without eating. When I changed my site, there was dried blood all over the adhesive, but nothing on the cannula, and it wasn't a "gusher" and didn't feel overly itchy or irritated. This site was in for 1.5 days and seemed fine until this afternoon.

Just wondering if anyone else has had this. Is it a continuation of my allergy problem? (In which case, I need to suck it up and give the needle sets another try.) I'm not anymore active than usual, don't think the sites are getting jostled or anything, and I am just confused.

The only other thing I can think of (and I thought of it just now while writing this post) is that I have had instances where the insulin "leaks" out of the site. Usually I notice this when I have an unexplained high and then smell insulin during a bolus and/or notice a wet spot near my site. I didn't notice that these past few times, but when it's happened in the past I've noticed blood on the adhesive. Again, I wonder if this could be caused by allergies (maybe swelling/inflammation of the skin) or something else?

I think it is really time for me to switch up my infusion set ...

I have the same problems!!! It is so frustrating. I am changing sites every 2 days too (sometimes daily) when I remove the cannula I bleed so much it looks like a gunshot wound. I’ve tried several infusion sets. Currently I’m using the straight in 6mm ( forget the brand). Keep me posted on a solution :slight_smile:

Mine don't bleed when I remove them - there's just blood on the adhesive. The cannula looks fine and is not kinked, etc.

Do your sites get red and itchy as well? Or just the bleeding?

Hi Jen, I am sorry about your problems, I know how frustrating that can be. I had lots of problems with quick sets and silhouettes making me bleed. I have gone on needles (although I was reluctant as I kept bleeding with them but I was desperate) and honestly my life is transformed. If they bleed the insulin still goes through for me.

The issue you talk about with the insulin leaking is on quick sets, when this happens the insulin is not going through the cannula. If you take it out and check you will see instead of getting drops when you rewind and check, all the insulin collects on one side of the circle and gathers at the bottom of the circle. I did a study because I just couldn't understand why my sugars were so erratic. 70% of the quicksets had this problem, Medtronic are checking it currently as I saved all the impaired sets. It is a precision problem.

I also had to change quick sets every day but with needles I can wear them for 2 days.

My sugars have been perfect since I swapped to needles. I have been wearing them in my arms as I find they are very easy to pull out accidently or in my back about my waistline. (My stomach was really damaged with the quick sets and silhouettes).

I hope this helps and good luck, Fiona

Mine get red and puffy sometimes. I don't worry about it as long as the BG is ok. I haven't seen #s over 300 for a while but I don't note that many highs (although DP this AM carried me up to 160, day four blues perhaps? Maybe cookies weren't the best hypo solution at the end of a depressing hockey game...) that I have correlated with the puffy crackly red stuff.

What do you mean by “needles”? Steel infusion sets or are you off the pump? If pumping, which brand infusion sets? Yes, my sites get red and itchy too :frowning:

Hmmm, makes me wonder if it is a "progression" of allergy issues, then.

It just happened again today at work. I put the site in about 1.5 days ago and this morning it was feeling irritated. I also work up high (and was high last night), and was still high before lunch. Not freak-out-complete-site-failure high, but stuck around 250 or so. When I went to correct and bolus for lunch, I felt insulin dripping down my arm! So I have no idea how much of that bolus went in and how much leaked ... I pulled the set out and there was no bleeding but it's very red where the cannula was and there are little red dots all underneath the area the adhesive was touching.

I can't seem to find the name and number my endocrinologist gave me for this pump nurse who can possibly give me samples of other sets, so I think I'll call his office this afternoon to get that. I am hoping using Contact-Detach sets might help these issues.

I am trying to get more "aggressive" with highs and change sites earlier if I'm running high (still not great, I tend to give it three chances when I probably shouldn't), and am okay changing sites every two days, but having to do it more often than that gets so annoying. It's frustrating when my sites seem to fail for no other reason than my body being allergic and rejecting them (cannula looks fine, no blood or kinks, etc.).