Yes, the process of applying an infusion set can be a bit daunting. And yes, you may lose your cool when it seems like nothing is working. But there are ways to make sure that your infusion site sticks and stays put. Here are the top tips for getting your diabetic infusion sets right every time:
Consider using a flexible site if you have difficulty finding an insertion site. Flexible sites are most comfortable and easier to insert but can be more difficult to remove if they become dislodged.
A flexible site is often recommended for people who have trouble finding an insertion site or who need help inserting the catheter into their veins. Although it is possible to use any location on your body as an insertion site, some areas are more commonly used than others because they make it easier to get the catheter inside your vein.
Priming the Insertion Device and Infusion Set
Every time you insert an infusion set, it’s important to prime the insertion device. Priming ensures that all of the air is removed from your insertion device to help prevent any bubbles from being injected into your body.
To prime an insertion device, draw some solution out of a bottle and into the tip until no air bubbles remain. You can do this by inserting an empty syringe into the end of your needle and drawing back on it until you see no more bubbles in the liquid.
Tandem Diabetes professionals state, “Choose from different insertion angles and a variety of tubing lengths.”
Preparing the Infusion Site
Prepare the skin by washing it with soap and water. Make sure there is no lotion or oil on your skin before applying the adhesive pad. If you have applied any alcohol to the skin, wash it off first. Use a cotton ball to dry the area around your infusion site after washing it thoroughly with soap and warm water.
Healing ointments help keep the infusion set in place (e.g., on the skin). They can be used on both flexible and rigid sites, but they should be applied to something other than adhesive tapes. Healing ointments can be used either with or without an insertion device as long as it doesn’t contain any active ingredients like alcohol or iodine that will irritate your skin.
You should apply approximately one inch of ointment around each side where you plan to place your infusion set before attaching it to yourself. The thickness depends on how well they heal: If they need more time before falling off naturally, then use less; if they fall off quickly already, then use more.
Partially Rotating The Infusion Site/Pod
Rotation helps prevent cross-contamination and raises the likelihood of successful use.
If you’re unsure how often to rotate your infusion site/pod, it is recommended rotating every two weeks. This will ensure that all parts of your body get their fair share of insulin delivery (or whatever other medication you use). But remember that not all risks associated with non-rotation are bad! If you want to stick with one spot because it feels more comfortable or accessible than others, go ahead—there’s no risk involved here since there’s no need for rotation anyway!