Health highlight – infusion sets: the big picture

Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - 14:56

When on MDI, I rotated my injection sites from my abdomen, arms and legs. For the past 12 years I have been rotating my pump infusion sites on my abdomen and sides. All in all, everything is good with my site locations. However, one thing that I have done is to make sure that I have limited the possibility of having infected sites. It is recommended that the plastic cannula sites are only used for three days and the metal cannulas are used for two days. This is because you have a foreign item in your body and it is only a matter of time before your white blood cells start to react to it. Also, no matter how natural the insulin is that you are putting into your body, you are still injecting / infusing a substance into the body in an area that is unnatural so there can be a limit to the amount of insulin that can be held before the cells become over-saturated and absorption becomes a problem. 

The main things I consider with both myself and my daughter are:

  • Come set change day - day two or three, depending on the cannula - how are my blood glucose levels performing? Infected sites are never welcome in the short or long term.
  • Absorption – If we oversaturate, the short-term effect is our blood glucose levels will rise and fall out of range. The long-term effect is that we could cause damage to the tissue and have future problems.
  • How does the area around the site feel? Your skin is your biggest organ and one that needs attention. Looking, smelling and feeling are all senses that are needed to see how things are going.


Because T1D is for life, keeping your mind on the big picture is a must. You can focus on today and tomorrow, however you run the risk of possible difficulties in the future. Looking after your body now is a must. I constantly think about my daughter and how when she is a strong adult I want her to be fit and healthy and to be able to not have resentment towards decisions that we were in charge of making while she was young. To me, it is even more setting her up for a happy and healthy life.

My biggest advice if asked is to know that everything has an effect, and everything needs consideration for the long term.

Medtronic Diabetes Australia Ambassador
Living With Type 1 Diabetes 

Living with T1D and a parent of a child with T1D, Gareth enjoys the peace of mind SmartGuard® provides to himself and his family. Gareth also runs his own blog titled “Blood, Needles and occasional Time Loss”.


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.