When choosing an insulin pump infusion set, there are many factors to consider. Here are tips to choose what’s right for you based on your unique needs.
Choosing an infusion set is an important decision if you’re living with diabetes and using an insulin pump to control it. Most insulin pumps require an infusion set to deliver insulin to the body. It consists of thin plastic tubing, a cannula and a plastic connector that joins the tubing and cannula together. Infusion sets come in many different styles, each suited to meet an individual’s unique needs.
Below are a few differences to be aware of when making your selection.
Teflon vs Steel Cannula.
A Teflon or “soft” cannula is a thin, flexible needle and is a popular choice given its comfort and ability to remain inserted for up to 72 hours. On the other hand, a steel cannula is a thin metal needle and can only stay in place for up to 48 hours. However, despite the flexibility and comfort of a soft cannula, it can also lead to kinking, which disrupts the flow of insulin into the body. This can potentially not be detected, which can be deadly. Therefore, users of soft cannulas need to know how to troubleshoot immediately if kinking occurs. Steel cannulas, however, are durable and will not kink. Despite this feature, the cannulas can cause discomfort during movement or physical activity.
There are two options for inserting a cannula, manual or with an insertion device. The manual method is useful for people wanting to control the speed of insertion. However, many prefer using an insertion device, which is helpful for people with arthritis, Parkinson disease, or any other condition that affects fine motor skills. Insertion devices also make it easier for insertion into certain parts of the body such as the buttocks or the back of the arm. Both insertion methods work effectively, so it is entirely up to the user.
Infusion sets also come in two insertion angle styles. There is straight or angled. Each offers advantages and disadvantages. Straight infusion sets allow for shorter needles, however, shorter needles can become dislodged more easily. Angled infusion sets are more popular among people who are active, but the needle is longer, which may be less appealing to some individuals.
Different areas of the body absorb insulin at similar rates. However, there can be slight variations from one body area to another. For most people, the most comfortable place to insert an infusion set is the abdominal area. Other options include the outer thighs, backs of the arms, hips and buttocks. When selecting an infusion site, it is a best practice to avoid areas with less fat and places where the infusion set might be constricted. For children, the buttocks seem to be one of the most comfortable infusion sites. Also, because a child cannot see this area, it is less likely that they will tamper with or remove the infusion set.
In addition to choosing the right site, it’s important to ensure proper infusion site care, which is essential for preventing infections. Cleanliness is critical, so start with washing your hands and the area of insertion. Despite impeccable site care, infections can still occur. At the first sign of infection, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
When choosing the infusion set right for you, there are several other items to take into consideration. Some manufacturers’ pumps are compatible only with their own infusion set systems, while others are compatible with a variety of product lines. This feature may impact your final selection, so be sure to check first. Also, you might want to contact your insurance company because coverage on different types of sets may vary.
If you have any questions, the experts at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy are here to help! The experienced staff at Focus Express Mail Pharmacy have been assisting people with diabetes for years and are available to help answer your questions about diabetes, insulin pumps and insulin pump supplies.
Call us today at 1-866-403-6287 or visit us www.FocusPharmacy.com.