Lg Cwd
icon-nav-help
Need Help

Submit your question to our team of health care professionals.

icon-nav-current-questions
Current Question

See what's on the mind of the community right now.

icon-conf-speakers-at-a-glance
Meet the Team

Learn more about our world-renowned team.

icon-nav-archives
DTeam Archives

Review the entire archive according to the date it was posted.

icon-question-mark
September 22, 2001

Insulin Pumps

Question from Melbourne, Florida, USA:

I am an active 47 year old who has been insulin dependent for the past 30 years. I've been on the pump for just over a year, and I am absolutely ecstatic with the results. I utilize about six infusion sites on my abdomen which seem to work very well. I am able to leave a set in on average for roughly five days without any irritation, discomfort or other adverse effect(s). Do you feel that this is an adequate rotation which will prevent future complications down the road?

Answer:

The insulin pump companies advise changing the infusion set every two to three days, but I do know of folks who leave it in for three to four days and do okay. I am sure there are folks out there who can leave it in for five days, but I really cannot advocate that.

Since you live in Florida, I am concerned that the insulin may get hot, especially in the infusion set itself, if it is exposed to the heat at all (and you do say you are active). In cooler weather, if you have no irritation or redness, I think four to five days might be okay, but I am very concerned that you do not rotate your sites adequately. I am afraid that if you do not have more options for sites, within several years, you will have problems with those sites not being able to absorb the insulin correctly. We have found this with some of our pump users who seem to feel there are only several sites that can be used. So please try to find more sites. If you just rotate like a clock on each quadrant of the stomach (or half quadrant if you only use the area either above or below the belt line), you will have up to 24 sites to use. Infections from leaving infusion sets in too long can be very challenging to treat.

LSF