Infusion Sets 101
Basics to know before you buy
1. Connection: Most infusion sets use a Luer-lock connector, the standard method of attaching tubing to a pump. Because of this, most pumps can use a variety of infusion sets from different companies. A few pumps employ a different type of connection between the tubing and pump, which means infusion set options are mostly limited to the brand specified by the manufacturer.
2. Insertion Method: You can insert some sets manually, by sliding an introducer needle under your skin and using the attached adhesive pad to hold the needle or cannula in place. Other infusion sets use an insertion device that allows for needle insertion with the push of a button. The latter is especially helpful for people with dexterity problems or needle anxiety.
3. Needle or Cannula: Most infusion sets use an introducer needle to guide a flexible cannula under the skin before the needle is removed. Others keep a metal needle in place for insulin delivery.
4. Disconnect Site: Some infusion sets attach at the insertion site; others have a short "breakaway" length of tubing. When an infusion set detaches at the site, the only parts of the set that remain on your body are the plastic "dock" into which the tubing connects and the adhesive pad that keeps the cannula or needle in place. Other models leave the cannula, adhesive, and a short tail of tubing behind. These are a good option for people who are active or have dexterity problems and worry about tugging their infusion set out while trying to disconnect.