The Breakdown of Insulin Pump Accessories

With an insulin pump, skip a meal without worries. Manage your diabetes more efficiently without fussing over conventional insulin injection therapy that necessitates multiple injections with syringes or insulin pens. Pumps are aided by the following insulin pump accessories.

Infusion Set

Pump Accessory-Infusion SetThis disposable component to your insulin pump normally consists of a cannula and a tubing mechanism. Other infusion set models can have both disposable and non-disposable components. There are also those where there is no tubing system attached to the cannula.

Inserted under the skin, the cannula allows for the subcutaneous delivery of insulin. There are two types of cannulas–soft cannulas and steel needles. If you opt for a soft cannula, you will need a steel introducer needle to direct the cannula into the skin’s injection site and to change your infusion set typically every 48 to 72 hours. If you find surgical stainless steel cannulas more comfortable and easier to insert than the soft kind that is guided and positioned in the fatty tissue of your skin, then be prepared to change your infusion set more regularly than when you are using a soft cannula.

The other component of a regular insulin pump infusion set is the tubing system. It connects the cannula to the insulin reservoir. There are flexible Teflon infusion sets available. They employ a steel needle inserter, which is removed once the Teflon tubing mechanism has been inserted under the skin. Watch out for air bubbles in the tubing system because they may hinder the delivery of insulin. Remove the tubing from the infusion set and slowly prime the tubing until you see a bubble leaving the infusion set.

The length of the tubing you use is dependent on your body size and the site where you wear your insulin pump. The recommended infusion spots are your abdomen, which offers optimal insulin absorption, as well as your hips and buttocks. You should rotate infusion sites to allow the skin to heal properly and to prevent scar tissues from forming. Rotating skin infusion sites also promotes better insulin absorption.

Pump-Accessory-ReservoirInsulin Cartridge or Reservoir

This insulin pump accessory holds the insulin delivered by the tubing system to the cannula that is inserted under your skin. There are pre-filled insulin reservoirs and cartridges available. The use of pre-filled cartridges minimizes the risk of contamination and does away with the hassle of refilling. Never reuse disposable insulin cartridges or any sterile part of your insulin pump.

Insulin Pump Battery

Power your insulin pump continuously with a battery. You can choose rechargeable ones–the same internal battery typically used in cell phones. Or you can opt for disposable dry-cell batteries.

Always choose the battery type recommended by the insulin pump manufacturer. Using the wrong battery can end up damaging the insulin pump. Check your battery indicator periodically. Also, watch out for loosened or damaged battery cap because this can lead to loss of power. Your battery cap or vent needs to be replaced after a few months or so. This crucial detail should be specified in the product label.

Skin Preparation Product

A skin preparation product helps secure your infusion set under your skin even when the skin becomes slick with sweat after strenuous physical activity or during hot weather. Transparent dressing can also be used in conjunction with the application of a skin preparation product. Or you can apply a thin layer of antiperspirant deodorant to the site where you will be placing your infusion set. If your skin is showing signs of irritation from the skin preparation product, consult with your health care provider.

Skin Tape

IV3000 - insulin pumpLike the skin preparation product, the skin tape is used to ensure that the insulin infusion set stays in place. Before you secure the infusion set with a skin tape, clean, disinfect, and then dry your skin first. Cleaning and disinfecting with mild soap and running water usually does the job. You can also prepare the skin for infusion by disinfecting it with alcohol.

There are many options for skin tapes. Depending on your skin sensitivity, you can either use clear tape dressing, roll tape, silk tape, or paper tape. The latter variety is the preferred skin tape for people with very sensitive skin.

When it comes to choosing insulin pump supplies, the most important thing to remember is to use the types recommended by the insulin pump manufacturer. Improvising may void the warranty of the insulin pump, damage the unit, or risk interrupting the flow of insulin.

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