I’m 17, and have been looking at pumps recently. I think I’ve settled on either a Medtronic or Tandem pump, so I’m beginning to look at infusion sets, but I have no idea where to start. Does anyone have any suggestions for good infusion sets? If possible, I’d like to use one that used Luer Lock, have one that has an easy insertion process, and one that works well for someone very skinny like myself. Any advice would be amazing.
Thank you so much!
Hi Brendan – I was diagnosed in 1982 and have been a pump user since 1997 so I’ve tried and discarded many kinds of infusion sets. Since you said you’re “skinny” I’d definitely suggest using something that goes in at a 30-degree angle. I started off with an early-generation Medtronic infusion set which went in at a 90 degree angle and wound up with 2 abscesses. Then again I had a bunch of small children running around and bumping into me to thank for that but, still – that angle is not ideal for people without a substantial amount of abdominal fat to cushion the sites.
I’m currently using an Inset-30 with my Tandem T-Slim pump (I honestly DON’T recommend this pump but ask me if you want more information – it’s been kind of a nightmare with one year left to be able to replace it) but the Inset-30 works with a variety of pumps, I think.
Medtronic also makes a good infusion set that inserts at a 30-degree angle but last I used it you had to buy a “Sil-Serter” to insert it (they may have given you one free at the time I was using it but it’s not expensive – it’s one of those spring-loaded thingies that hold the infusion set and inserts it rather painlessly and easily).
Since I just went back and re-read your post and saw that you are actually considering the Tandem, I will just say that IF you spend a lot of time outside and are not one of those people that uses a lot of insulin (the syringe that comes with the Tandem reservoirs that is used to draw up insulin and fill the reservoir holds 3ml and I only fill it up to just 2 bars past 1ml) don’t get it. It is mad cool (color touch-screen, easy screen navigation, and customizable-volume alerts and vibration) but I had problems from the start with it.
What I will say is NOT Tandem’s fault is that the trainer who worked with me (they make you take a training session for insurance coverage purposes) said that since the reservoir was such a large capacity I could fill it and just change out my infusion sets every 3 days. DO NOT believe this – insulin is only approved for use in plastic reservoirs for 3 DAYS and then it goes bad. Needless to say I had problems for months figuring out why my BG was so high and I became insulin-resistant. All better now though.
The other negatives I’ve experienced with the Tandem T-Slim include the pump getting too hot walking from my car to the beach and ceasing delivery altogether. I had to sit in my tent with the pump in an ice bucket for 2 hours to get it working again. Luckily my activity during my vacation had me running a little lower than usual but it was annoying not to be able to eat lunch other than a ham & cheese roll-up (no carbs) until it cooled off enough. I spent 20 minutes on the phone with their tech department instead of enjoying my time at the beach on vacation.
The Tandem reservoir also has a LOT of dead-space which drives me insane. In other words, you have to include 20-30 more units than you will actually use in your reservoir to cover for the dead space. Around 20-30 units of (expensive!) insulin gets tossed away with every reservoir change. Occasionally I will take a new syringe when changing everything out to suck the wasted insulin out from the reservoir and I include that stuff with new insulin when I change. This is probably NOT recommended but I do it anyway…
Since the Tandem reservoir is almost like a tiny I.V. bag it can only push out as much insulin as is in the actual bag but the plastic at the top of the reservoir holds some insulin that does not get pushed out even when the alert says it’s empty. Hard to explain unless you’re sitting here but I hope that makes some kind of sense.
I think the Medtronic is the way to go. They have come a long way since the first generation I used and they have pretty cool features now. Any Medtronic rep will help you out if you call them and ask which infusion sets are compatible with their pumps.
Apologies for my long-windedness but let me know if you have any questions. I’ll be happy to help if I can. Good luck!
I am 16 and skinny, plus I play tennis (a lot of torso twisting) I have only used a Medtronic pump (3 years). Medtronic has a variety of infusion sets that work differently for everyone. I personally liked the BD pro sets but those were recently recalled due to some people having insulin delivery failure. Those worked awesome for my stomach sites and I never had a failure.
I started with and continue to use the Mios since they are easy to insert and carry in any bag or pack or leave at school. I have had high readings with the Mio, but never a delivery failure, so I am not sure if the high readings are a bolus mistake by me, or a kinked cannula due to being skinny and less insulin delivery…as with anyone with diabetes, teen hormones, late nights, pizza binges with friends, exercise/no exercise… everything is a crap shoot and what worked one day does not always work the next day.
I have thought about changing to the sure-T, but don’t want to carry around the extra inserter device. The Sure-T have the luer lock and are an angled cannula so those may work for you. I just didn’t like the idea of having to change them every 2 days and have a needle instead of a plastic cannula in my body.
I liked the mio when I used Minimed. It was a great all-in-one insertion set plus you need the container that holds the insulin (sorry it’s been a long time since I used mm). Omnipod now.
I have used Minimed for 17 years and love them! I definitely recommend the Minimed pumps as the way to go. I use the quick set infusion sets and they have worked great for me!