INFUSION SETS: WHY YOUR DAILY ROUTINE MATTERS
Monday, November 19, 2018 - 16:01
When we think of Insulin pump therapy, we think about all the amazing features that make our day to day lives easier such as the Bolus Wizard and SmartGuard. While these are amazing features that many of us use every single day, we often forget about infusion sets. They play the most important part of using an insulin pump – giving us insulin to survive. One of the most important things to remember for infusion sets is wear time.
We are all told to change our infusion sets every 3 days (or 2 days for the Sure-T users) by our
Healthcare team and it’s also kindly printed on our infusion set boxes as a reminder to change them.
But why do we need to change them every 3 (or 2) days you’re probably asking? I understand wearing infusion sets for longer than the recommended time can increase the risk of high blood
glucoses associated with decreased insulin absorption, blockages and decreased amount of insulin being absorbed. Think of your body as a sponge. A sponge can only soak up so much liquid and our bodies are the same when we leave infusion sets in the same place longer than needed. We end up not absorbing insulin as well. The team at Medtronic have also done some pretty length studies on infusion set wear times and the optimal time they have discovered is 3 days.
This is something that I have personally experienced in my time using an insulin pump and actually have to change my infusion sets every 2 days instead of the normal 3 days. From the beginning of using insulin pump therapy, I would have amazing blood glucose control in the first 2 days of the infusion set being in. When I would get to day 3, I would find my blood glucose levels slowing increasing over the day and would not go down even with correction doses. I would also find that my infusion sets would become itchy and red around the skin – a sign that my body was reacting to the extended length of time being inserted. After consulting with my healthcare team, we all agreed that changing it every 2 days was optimal for my diabetes control. I now get more consistent control of my glucose levels changing it more frequently. I also have noticed I have a lot less site issues. No more itchiness or redness!
Insulin pumps are an amazing piece of technology that I can’t imagine life without especially with all the advanced features on offer, but we always need to remember to take it back to basics. An insulin
pump is nothing without the delivery of insulin. Remember – 2 or 3 days and take it out. It’s not worth the increased risk of issues when keeping infusion sets in longer.
Medtronic Diabetes Australia Ambassador
Living With Type 1 Diabetes
Having recently completed work placement as part of becoming a registered nurse, Brent is familiar with what can be a juggling act between diabetes management and living his life. With his pump this juggling act is made easier as he is, “able to confidently manage my diabetes so I am able to have a clear focus on nursing”.
This patient testimonial relates to an account of an individual’s response to treatment. The account is genuine, typical and documented. The views and opinions expressed are those of the patient or author and not representative of Medtronic or of any third parties referenced. The response other persons have to treatment could be different. Please consult with you healthcare professional for information on whether the treatment is appropriate for you.*The information provided in this blog is an individual account specific to the writers experience in the management of their own diabetes. Before considering any changes to your diabetes management you must consult with your healthcare professional.