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Diabetes Forecast

The Healthy Living Magazine

Why Won't My Infusion Sets Stick?

I experienced a problem when traveling and hope you can advise me. My infusion sets wouldn't stick. I used the Cleo infusion sets with my CoZmore pump. I held the applicator on for the required 20 to 30 seconds, but when I pulled it off, the set came with it. It sometimes took me three or four tries to get one to work. With the cost, and the fact that I didn't bring more than 5 to 10 extras along for a month's trip (space is limited on a motorcycle), I became alarmed! Smith's Medical was great when I called them. They sent a box of sets to my father's house in Tennessee, and the set arrived the day after I did. But the problem continued. I thought it might be the change in humidity, or the skin-prep wipes. I tried with and without the wipes, so I don't think that was the problem, and I changed my site in the mornings when my skin was cool and dry. Still, I had trouble. Do you have any idea what might be going on? Have you heard of anyone else having this problem? I sent the bad sets back to Smith's (they sent me a prepaid UPS label) and am waiting to hear what they discover, if anything. Sue Tucker, Kamiah, Idaho


Belinda Childs, ARNP, MN, CDE, BC-ADM, responds: One of the challenges of insulin pump therapy can be finding the right site preparation and the right site for the infusion needle.

As with most things with diabetes, everyone is a little different. In my experience, using the skin prep—not alcohol—is important. You might want to try the adherent Mastisol if other products do not work.

Site placement may also have contributed to the needle coming out or not holding while you were on the motorcycle. Your arms or hips may be a better choice than your legs or abdomen due to your positioning when sitting on a motorcycle, bike, or similar vehicle. On occasion we have had patients place a Tegaderm dressing on the skin first, with a hole cut for the needle to go through, and then place the infusion set on top of this dressing. Another alternative is to place the clear dressing over the needle to help secure it.

 
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