When/Where do you change out your pump supplies?

Do you always change out your pump’s infusion sets and/or CGM sensors at home? Do you have to plan ahead to time that out right, or how do you keep from having things run out or expire while away from home?

Do you change your pump supplies at work/school? If so, how does that go for you? Do you use a first aid room, or your office, or an employee restroom?

I hate having to change my pump at work. I share an office with someone, so I can’t just pull my shirt up and such right there. Our restrooms are not private and aren’t as clean as I’d like for such things either.

But I also hate replacing the reservoir with more than a few units of insulin left in it. So it leaves me in a bind sometimes.

What about changing it in the car? I do that when we are traveling and aren’t in a hotel room, for the same reason, I don’t want to waste the insulin, if I don’t have too.

I typically change my OmniPod and Dexcom at home. OmniPod gives me a four-hour notice (a setting we select). And, Dex gives a notice too. So, I can plan ahead for both of them. I’ve had failures also, which force me into changing outside of home. I recall my pod failed just after I arrived at another persons home for a meeting. I was about 30 minutes away, so I couldn’t just run home to change it out, so my husband brought a pod to me. If we travel further than that distance, I will pack three pods, a dex, and supplies.

You just reminded me that I have to change out my Glucagon kit from my dbag! Otherwise, I don’t have any insulin, pods, dex, supplies stored anywhere else. I do keep them in a closet (or refrigerator), away from any sunlight or heat source. I date everything (mostly) and rotate stock that way. It’s nice that OmniPod and Dex both have order reminders and I order my insulin and other supplies monthly.

I usually change out my diabetes supplies at home but will do it wherever I happen to be, if needed. This includes public restrooms. I have three separate routines that I take care of on their own separate schedules.

  • I change out my Dex sensor at about 14 days but I sometimes do it sooner if the readings get noisey. I favor doing this one at home as I don’t carry my Skin-Tac bottle with me.

  • I use a 300-unit insulin cartridge for my Med-T pump and I fill it to the max. This means I refill the cartridge about every 9-11 days.

  • I change my infusion sites every three days and this is the easiest of the three that I do regularly. My NightScout keeps track of my “cannula age” and I make every effort to not exceed 72 hours between changes.

I try to anticipate these change-outs and coincide with time at home but I always carry everything with me that I need to do it when I’m out.

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I hate having to do it anywhere but at home, but I also hate having to change when I’ve still got a reasonable amount of insulin left. My pump is set to give me a “low reservoir” message 12 hours ahead of empty, which is calculated on basal rate only. If it looks like I’ve got enough to get through the day, not counting boluses, my habit is to bring an injector and bolus from that rather than the pump. Though it doesn’t work so well now that I’m on Fiasp, because I don’t have injectors for that. Have to deal with vial and syringe, but I’d still rather do that than have to change sets at work.

Here’s a thing though: I used to keep an infusion set in my office desk in case of an accidental yank-out. Which of course didn’t happen for, dunno, a couple of years anyway. So when it finally did happen, I thought, Aha! The experienced diabetic is always prepared! Got it out, pulled the protective cover off, peeled the paper off the tape, sproinged the inserter into me, went to shift the clip from the old canula to the new… and the new one just fell right off. Guess it had been sitting there for long enough that the tape lost its adhesion. Guess those “Use by” dates actually mean something after all–who knew?

I prefer to do changes at home, but will/have done them almost anywhere. I keep at least one Dexcom sensor at work (it’s probably in need of being swapped out by now), along with a cut-out piece of OpsiteFlexifix, and a couple infusion sets in my lunch bag. Typically, when I change pump sites at work, I reuse the cartridge, though I also have one spare cartridge with me in my bag.

I do not like using restrooms for site changes or injections. At work, it depends where the existing site and new site are – it they’re in an easily-accessible location, I’ll change at my desk, otherwise, there’s a locker room that I use. Not much better than a restroom, but a little. I’ve also done changes in my car, and at a restaurant table (site change only), when needed.

I have a regime similar to @Terry4, and I will change wherever I happen to be with no shame. I try to make it convenient for me and my family, but if it needs to be changed and it offends you, then go somewhere else. When people object, I bring up the breastfeeding in public analogy, and that usually ends the conversation. Someone else’s squeemishness is not my problem. Selfish? Yes. I could die if I don’t, and they won’t. Now who’s selfish?


I try not to do it where non-family will see.

Not because of squeemishness over the process, but because I use my stomach, and tucking my clothing back in after the fact (I tuck in my shirts at work) usually involves unbuttoning my pants. I feel like it would be inappropriate to subject coworkers to that.

I always change my Omnipod and Dexcom at home. I carry pens (Lantus and FIASP) with me, so if I happen upon a pod failure while I’m out, I just use pens for the rest of the day until I get home again. Besides my PDM and Dexcom receiver, I also carry glucose tablets, alcohol wipes, a mini Tupperware for an on-the-go “sharps bin”, an extra meter, strips for my extra meter and my PDM, a lancet device and extra lancets and a glucagon kit. Needles to say, I have a huge purse.

I do it at home but have had to at work when there has been a site issue, kink, pulled out etc. I don’t get caught often when I have to do it outside of my house because my pump alarms when I get to 20 units and it also alarms when I get to my 3 day reminder for site change.
I am also one of those who will do just about anything diabetes related out and about. Of course there are some sites I can’t change in public but don’t think using arm of stomach would be out of the realm of doing in public.
But I am definitely an at home change out person.

If I feel I do not have enough insulin to last the day I will change my set before leaving the house. I will take a filled reservoir with me to make a quick change later.

I don’t like to change sets away from home but a quick reservoir change doesn’t bother me.

  1. I change infusion set every 2 days (can’t get 3 days) typically at home in the morning.

  2. With a 300 unit reservoir I get 250 usable units so it lasts around 5 days. Changing reservoirs on a Dana pump is a bit of a faff and the pump does not like to run to zero units so change at home if I think it will not last.

  3. Dexcom G5, change at about 14 days depending on sensor noise etc. Used to get 16-18 but reliable data is essential if closed looping.

Dexcom G4 - I always change at home (or where I’m staying if traveling) when the numbers start to go bad. I almost always get more than 7 days out of each sensor, so I just need to plan ahead for the 2-hour calibration and double meter readings so that happens at home too.

OmniPod - Same place as I do the G4. If out and get a pod failure, I’ll return home ASAP to change. I also max out the time to 80 hours per pod changing at 7 AM, 3 PM, and 11 PM. Since I’m retired, that schedule is not difficult to maintain. I also need to plan ahead and consider when the pod will expire (at 80 hours) so it will not be inconvenient (e.g., middle of a round of golf). If so, then I’ll change earlier than the 80 hours.

I normally change my infusion sets and/or CGM before bed (right after my shower) at home. I also set the Low Reservoir alert to the average amount of insulin I use in a day, that way I can plan the last day appropriately. As far as away from home, I always pack a few spares so that I have 2 or even 3 more changes than expected, in case of those bad days where a set fails or some other problem. I would try to schedule my day to avoid needing to change it away from home. If this means wasting a little insulin, just tell your doctor so they can prescribe a little more than you need. There is no reason to make your life miserable just because the amount of insulin in your reservoir doesn’t exactly match the amount you need. The goal of insulin pumps is to give you freedom in your schedule, not control it.