What causes occlusions?

I had the joy of a quick pod change in the gym’s equipment room today,
hoping the kids didn’t arrive early to find a gym with no teacher = ).
Luckily, the alarm went off before the kids did arrive, because as loud
as it is, I can’t hear it when the gym is full of active bodies. Just
wondering if anyone has found the secret as to why they occur, and how
to prevent?

I never have occlusions, but used to when i first started the p ods. when i’m going to change, i make sure the insulin has been sitting out of fridge for like 25 minutes - a tip i read on here. If you’re pressed for time, then put the vial in your pocket, or my favorite- your bra, to have your body temperature help get the insulin to room temp quickly.

'Then, make sure you get ALL those little air bubbles out of the top of the needle…tap tap tap!!! I tap it hard! if there are still little bubbles, then i plunge it back into the vial and try to draw it out again. that seems to have done the trick for me – not a single occlusion in over 3 years!

Bad Pod Ju Ju.

I had one, 12 hours after a change, at 2.00 in the morning!
I woke up in a panic and thought the house was burning down/a swat team was invading.
Safe to say, that was a pod change I barely remembered in the morning…

This one was 1 1/2 days into the pod. Denise - I carry my current bottle with my pod meter too. I think as long as you follow the 30 day out of frig. shelf life, it isn’t a problem. - at least, it isn’t a problem for me.

I think my body wants a shorter, softer cannula.

I would too love to know what causes occlusions because when I ask they say the pod is working to let us know there is a proglem and it must be our fault. The last one I called in they said it was the last time they would replace a pod due to an occlusion. My son had one in the middle of class. Obviously wasn’t doing anything that would have caused it. The Insulet person told me maybe he moved his arm wrong? If that is the case, then it is something they need to work on becasue if moving your arm causes an occlusion then there is a problem. They always make it seem like it is our fault. Granted, sometimes I am sure it is but how about the time the cannula came out in the middle of the night and no alarm sounded. My son woke up with high keytones and blood sugar. I was told I should have called that one it. Wish I would have known…

I always have my insulin at room temp, and I tap my syringe with a pen (a trick I learned from the C.D.E.) to get all the air bubbles out of the syringe before filling a pod. Still, I have had two occlusions in less than 12 hours - and yep, when I call in occlusions (there have been several pods in a box that have had occlusions), the folks tell me it’s my fault and that they aren’t responsible for occlusions… This morning, I woke up with a high fasting reading - and an alarm. (The first time the pod sounded an alarm, I looked for 15 - 20 minutes around the house to find what the alarm was coming from! rofl) Checking the alarm history, the pod had occluded approximately 45 minutes prior to me waking up. Needless to say, this is a bit frustrating… I use Humalog with my pod, but I’ve read about some using Apidra with less occlusions. Any input on either of these topics would be much appreciated. =)

When I started the OmniPod in December 2008, my CDE suggested switching from Humalog to Novolog. His answer when I asked him “why the switch?” was “Novolog seems to be more stable and less prone to occlusions”. I’ve been very lucky and had only one occlusion in the 1-1/2 years I’ve used the OmniPod. Now…pod failures for other reasons is another whole story and a different post.

I (and others) have had problems with pods I have carried around for a while as “spares”. I had three occlusions in one day. The first one was a pod fresh from the box, about 5-6 hours before it as due to expire. I don’t have a cause for that one. I had been carrying the other two pods around for several months as spares. When I put them on (I was in classroom with adult students) they only lasted about 10 minutes each.

After that experience I read another post (from Sherri Ann, I think) about “spares” failing. Now I rotate my spares. I have them stacked in the bag I carry with supplies. I use the one from the top of the stack when it is time to change pods and put a “fresh” pod on the bottom of the stack. Since then I don’t recall any failures.

I always figured occlusions were caused by blood backing up into the cannula and coagulating.

My endo changed me to Apidra shortly after I started pumping is Feb 2008. He said it does not clog anywhere as much as Humilog.

That’s nothing, I was ridding home from a dance with my boyfriend. I had to pee so bad I was bursting – then guess what?

Yes the alarm went off and I totally wet myself and the seat of his car. That might be my most embarrassing moment, I can’t think of a worse one.

Yeah…that probably wins the prize.

This is Sherry Ann, and YES, changing out to a fresh Pod that you carry is very important. Since I started using the Pod that I have carried for only three days and replacing it with a fresh one as a spare, I have only had one occlusion, and that one was full of blood so I chalk that up to bad placement. I have to say that I am very lucky. I have only had two occlusions in the nine months that I have used the Pod (first one was from a Pod that I had carried around for a couple of months), so I cannot complain.

I use Novolog and was interested to know that there may be a connection between the type of insulin used and occlusions. I have had no problems.