Posted by on Sunday 30 September 2012

Set changes

Since I started with Artoo, infusion sets have been the weakest link in my pump experience. Around the time of the summer holiday I had noticed that I was getting some sort of set-based upheaval around once every 4-6 weeks, occasionally as much as fortnightly. This was clearly not right, and another 'no delivery' alert with attendant BGs in the 20s (360s) spurred me to contacting my pump DSN to investigate the options. Some of the failures I was getting were clearer than others, involving cannulas kinked at 90 degrees and 'no delivery' alarms. Others were less obvious - rampaging BGs which began to resolve after a set change despite there being no apparent problem with the old one. Still others involved multiple changes of reservoir and/or set in a single evening. Partly I am sure this is down to my own nervousness over the whole set business. One apparent failure, followed by a change which gives a 'no delivery' followed by another change can leave you feeling very unsure until you actually see your numbers begin to drop. Annoyingly, for me this can often take more than an hour - plenty of time to decide to do another full change 'just in case'.

In short I was very keen to experiment with alternative sets and see if I could find one which worked, change after change, for months rather than weeks at a stretch.

My DSN was able to give me several each of the shortest cannula length versions of Silhouette (angled Teflon), Sure-T (straight metal) and Mio (straight Teflon with self-serter).

Having spent most of September experimenting, on Friday I received my first order of Silhouettes which seem to work best for me.

I wasn't keen on the 'double sticky' extra loop business with Sure-Ts and while they were almost pain free to insert I found the 2 day changeover came around very quickly. I didn't get on well with the flimsy feeling Mio serter (though I know many love that feature). The first two Mios I pushed in manually, I actually dropped one which fell apart and deposited the 'sterile' needle part onto the floor (which would not have been ideal if I'd been changing on the run and had only taken one with me). The final nail in the coffin for Mios though was the last one which suffered a 'no delivery' cannula kink.

Silhouettes performed very reliably for the few I had to try, so I'll be interested to see what a whole box brings. I was impressed by the relatively compact box size. I'm undecided about the Silhouette kerplunker and may well try a few manual insertions which I suspect may be a bit more comfortable than spring-loaded ones. I did find that the mark on removal seems to be a little more noticeable than others, which might be to do with the angled nature of the cannula.

Fingers crossed I have a few months of clear space before I have to battle my next set-fail shuffle.

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