Tandem pump users

I often get a big air bubble in just the leur lock section of pump, and it stays there and won’t prime out, It can move back and forth in leur lock or stay still…Anyone ever hav this? Does this affect insulin delivery?

And sometimes I notice it’s gone all of a sudden…maybe popped? Does the ‘popping’ action/pressure ‘deliver’ more insulin through tube by the pressure of the pop? (as in unwanted delivery of who knows how much insulin?) …Makes me nervous

I don’t use a Tandem pump but it’s never a good thing, with any pump, to have air bubbles in the insulin cartridge and/or infusion set. If the pump is delivering air then insulin is displaced. Larger bubbles are worse than small champagne ones.

Bubbles can occur due to a leak in the system caused by a crack or bad o-ring seal.

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The pump didnt work for me, but that is not going to harm you in any way. It’s just there and it doesn’t cause any issues. I just do not remember what they said about it, but it concerned me too and was apparently no big deal.

While the air itself won’t do you any harm, the fact that you could potentially be bolusing it does. If you were to bolus 15 units of insulin with an air bubble, you might only get 12 units + air and might end up high because you didn’t get the insulin you needed. (While I mention bolus above, this would also apply to your standard basal.)

When you say in the luer lock section, are you referring to the connection point between the cartridge and the tubing? To help minimize air getting stuck, when you’re loading the cartridge/priming try to keep the cartridge upright. Since air floats it should get pushed through the tubing during the priming process. Don’t be afraid to tap the cartridge somewhat aggressively or with an object to try to move the bubbles to the surface.

You could also try to prime without the tubing attached, and then priming a second time after attaching the tubing. It might use a bit more insulin, but if it guarantees no air bubbles a few units of insulin is worth it.

Some Tandem users have reported similar issues to this for several years now. If this is a regular problem for you, I’d reach out to Tandem to see if they can offer any other suggestions or insight. I know in the past they’ve had some issues with their cartridges leaking, and while it has been resolved, it never hurts to make them aware that you’re experiencing some issues.

It’s in the little pig tail piece isn’t it?, and if I remember correctly its always there and it doesnt go anywhere…Tandem will explain better than I can, but I was told not to worry at all. It’s certainly not going to pop and cause a problem.

Hi there, yes I am referring to the point of connection where the pig tail from cartridge and the rest of the tubing meet, where it twists together. Right below the twist cap towards the rest of the tubing but not quite tehre, so still in the lock section, there’s sometimes a big bubble that either moves back and forth or stays still, this bubble doesn’t prime out ! :o …But sometimes I think it pops and they weren’t sure if the pressure would push any extra insulin through tube…b/c they said if you try to tighten the leur lock, do it unconnected to you as that could push insulin through?!..

Thank you for your reply! I will try to tap it to get the air out. Good day to you!

Oh and I remembered them saying there often is a bubble in the lock area and sure enough, I just took my Ping apart and there is a bubble there. They just sit there, and they are not necessarily small. It’s been three years, but that just came to me…:slight_smile:

There’s always potential for bubbles at the interconnection point. I just double checked mine again to be sure, and I don’t have any bubbles in the cartridge, the luer lock area or tubing. I even disconnected, pulled off the cartridge cap, and then re-primed afterwards to be sure. So while it’s possible to get it air bubble free ultimately it’s your call as to how hard you want to work to get it this way

I don’t have to put in that much effort, but I do flick the side of the cartridge pretty hard when filing it to make sure the air bubbles go out the top. I find it also helps a bit if the insulin isn’t straight from the fridge.

The picture isn’t perfectly clear because of the size (and I don’t have a macro lens or good lighting with me) but it shows enough to see what I mean. (The only spots you see are a bit of light reflecting.)

Pump - Cropped

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@Richmatik
That picture looks more like an Animas than a Tandem ?

(That battery cap on the far side looks very familiar…)

It sure is! :slight_smile:

I wasn’t trying to say it was a Tandem, just using what I had as a reference for the luer lock connection point. The connection type is the same, the difference being that Tandem’s connection is on a small piece of tubing whereas Animas’ is directly off the cartridge.

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Thanks for the pic! How do you like Animas? The tandem luer lock is more down on the tubing (yours looks right next to cartridge as you said) and maybe mine rubs up against abdomen/clothes etc and that’s how it comes ‘loose’ sometimes? Am thinking of switching.
Thanks for the reply!

I’ve always been an Animas user and have been very happy with them, and I’d happily recommend anyone to use them… unfortunately though, Animas recently announced that they are departing the insulin pump space, are no longer accepting new users, and are transitioning everyone over to Medtronic pumps by September 2019. :frowning:

I’m not looking forward to changing, but sometimes change can be good.

So alas, our choices for diabetes care have shrunk by one more, for the time being anyways. Some promising new contenders are set to make an appearance in the next few years though. So we can hope!

Hi Sweetgal- My tandem occasionally the same bubble issue. I’ve not had any problems that I’ve noticed with it though.

One note, the Luer Lock is going away and is being replaced by Tandem’s own design. My literal next reservoir has the new connector on it, so I’m anxious to see if its any better with bubbles- they did promise its faster to prime as their version is much smaller internally.

I have the new T-Lock connector and I have not had any issue with bubbles in the 3 months I have had the pump. It also uses like 5 less units to prime and is a bit faster than the old ones. Hopefully once you start getting those your issue disappears.