I’ve had a bad run of one failed infusion site followed by one I didn’t trust. They were only separated by 16 hours in time. Here’s what I faced: I had a site that was working but I spotted some blood that infiltrated the infusion set.
My experience with blood-fouled infusion sites is mixed. This site was only 16 hours in and I hoped to ride it for 72 hours. There was slight pain to the touch, not a positive sign for a site that I hoped could go the full duration. Since I just replaced the previous site only 16 hours before and was still feeling the physical fallout from the failed site, I decided to bail. I’d rather waste the set than endure many hours of cleaning up the metabolic mess.
This infusion set is the MiniMed Silhouette with the 13 mm angled cannula. I just started using the Silhouette last November and its been dependable. I use the auto inserter to deploy. I really like the great visual that this set affords the wearer to expose this site defect.
My question is this:
Do you automatically replace any infusion site that shows blood or do you prefer to wait for the blood glucose results to confirm the replacement?
I chickened out today. This is my third infusion set/site in less than 24 hours. I don’t want to do that very often.
My rule is, if it itches or feels like it is bruised, bail. When I keep those infusion sets in, removing them involves profuse bleeding and swearing and I have to dash for a towel before I turn the whole town red.
I think that’s a good rule to follow. There have been, however, times in the past when, due to competing time demands, I put the set change off and it stopped hurting and then accurately performed for the full 72 hours. When I do that, I feel like I’m being a good steward of my diabetes resources but if I really think about it, with the risk that entails, it is a foolish economy.
i use exactly the same infusion set. i love it and have used this particular style for the past 15 years. i do the manual insertion as i am too thin for the auto device.( i need to really angle it to get it in sub-q.) the blood doesn’t much bother me if it is as little as you have shown in your picture. but, if it hurts to the touch, i pull it out immediately. (sometimes, i have hit a nerve, a muscle, a plain old sensitive spot that doesn’t need to be irritated more…and sometimes i hit a blood vessel as opposed to a capillary; and when that happens, it bleeds profusely).
what i LOVE about Medtronic is that if there is a problem, no matter how small, you can just call them up and report it and request a replacement free of charge. they are very accommodating and very sympathetic. no need to feel you are wasting a set just because you have to toss it.
Thank-you, @Daisy_Mae. It helps me to read about others who use this same infusion set. I’ve been happy overall with its dependability. The presence of pain seems to be the common symptom people use to justify an early set removal.
I don’t have much luck with sites that involve pain. I don’t usually see the blood until I remove the set. But I do usually change when the site hurts. I hate to waste supplies but once a site goes bad, it seems so hard to get BG’s back down.
I’ve had two abdominal potholes, each 3/4" to 1" deep and one about 4" long the other about 21/2" long. Both on my abdomen and both on the same side, but about 6 months apart. Both required treatment by a wound center to get closed up.
I’ve had mixed results with infusions sets that bleed. When they’re first put in, the insulin works like gang-busters and my blood sugars run pretty low. I have to lower my basal rate and take less insulin for boluses. The down side is once the blood clots, the insulin forms a nice small lump and my blood sugar spikes and I have to change the infusion set early. I always have to change within 48 hours anyway, so I change whenever my bg starts creeping up for no apparent reason.
If my blood sugars start going high due to poor insulin dispersal (for any reason) I pull replace. I use Tandem, and the inset is the manual angled insertion… In the 16 months that I’ve worn an insulin pump, it’s happened 5 or 6 times.
Mine frequently hurt a lot, especially when I bolus and sometimes blood sugar is ok. It is rare for me to take it out and move it, I should do it more when Bg is high. I never know what the cause is for sure. I use contact detach. If I take it out the adhesive won’t work again and I have to put one over it. I often see blood and or fluid come out when take them out but Bg is not always high.
Sometimes you get sites that are painful when you do boluses, I recommend that you make sure there is nothing pressing against the cannula and that it is not digging in too much. I also experience slight bleeding and sometimes a little leakage of insulin when I take my cannula out, but as long as the tube is sticking into your stomach (or wherever you insert it), it is fine. If you have problems inserting the cannula without the tube bending, I recommend standing up and inserting it because it gives you the best chance at getting it in straight.