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Changing infusion sets is always a hit or miss, literally. You either get a good site, or a bad site. A good site is one that’s painless, that absorbs well, that doesn’t bleed, and life is a bit easier until the next time you have to change the infusion set. Or, you get a bad site, a site that is sore, or bleeds, or doesn’t absorb well, perhaps due to a bent cannula.
Your odds depend on a number of factors. I’ve read that a bent cannula happens 10% of the time. A bad site may mean that you need to replace it and try again. It’s also a big inconvenience, because your blood glucose may go high from it not working. To make infusion set change days a bit better, I always keep my old infusion site in until I know that my new infusion site is working well, so that if needed, I can swap back to my old site.
The infusion sets I’ve previously used were only meant for 2 to 3 days. I’ve used the Mio, the Quick-Set, and the Mio Advance.
Medtronic just came out the the Extended Infusion Sets and Extended Insulin Reservoirs, which are for 7 day use. To only have to change infusion sets once a week is appealing. My doctor was even asking me if I knew about them. However, not all reaction was positive. Some insulin pump users worried about the possibility of more scarring.
I decided to give them a try, and Medtronic even sent me an extra set with my first order.
Extended Infusion Set Differences
Medtronic says that the new infusion set is made of advanced materials. The tubing has a filter to remove insulin fibrils. Also, it has stronger adhesive. Otherwise, it appears very similar to the Mio Advance.
Here’s a quote from Medtronic’s announcement “The New Medtronic Extended Infusion Set and Reservoir.”
We know you’re wondering how does this work? The EIS introduces innovative technology that allows for longer wear by mitigating the insulin degradation and preservative loss seen in 2–3-day infusion sets. Specifically, it is designed with tubing that features advanced materials to help reduce insulin preservative loss and maintain insulin flow and stability. It also has a new tubing connector that improves the physical and chemical stability of insulin by filtering out insulin fibrils. Fibrils are strands of destabilized insulin that clump together and can contribute to poor glycemia due to infusion set occlusion and immune response at the infusion site.1 Lastly, the EIS has an improved adhesive patch that extends wear-time and provides comfort, keeping the infusion set in place for up to 7 days. All these elements help to further reduce the burden on the patient.— Medtronic
The Extended Insulin Resevoir
The extended insulin reservoir holds the same amount of insulin as the regular reservoir, which is 300 units. It looks about the same. If you use more than 300 units of insulin during 7 days, then Medtronic has instructions on how to change your reservoir without removing the infusion set.
Video Instructions from Medtronic
My First Impressions
I used an infusion set for the full 7 days. The adhesive is noticeably stronger. I had a good infusion site on my first try and when I removed the set, the site didn’t look any more irritated than the sites where I had 3 day infusion sets.
On my second try, I got a bad site. I saw blood in the infusion set and it formed a bruise after using it for a couple of days. I probably should have changed it out right away because of the blood. When I removed the infusion set (early), it was quite a gusher and I had to put on a couple of band-aids and it barely missed staining my pants. I’ve had this happen with other infusion sets, so I don’t think it’s the fault of the infusion set. I am still going to continue to try these 7 day ones. Sorry for the graphic details… but this kind of thing can happen. I now always make sure I have band-aids on hand!
Comparing the Mio, the Quick-Set, and the Mio Advance.
I don’t like the Quick Sets because detaching from the infusion set requires a turning maneuver to unlock it, and I find this difficult. I don’t think I have the best fine motor skills, so maybe this isn’t an issue for you, but I don’t like the Quick Sets for this reason. Also, the Quick-Serter inserter device is a bit on the powerful side, for me.
I like the Mio Infusion Sets for the most part, although I think they have been discontinued. Sometimes, the spring isn’t as forceful as other times. Sometimes, this infusion set insertion is completely painless. I’ve had occasional problems with bent cannulas and imperfection insertion, though.
I like the Mio Advance infusion set, and the Extended Infusion Set appears to have the same insertion mechanism. It only requires one button push, and can be done with one hand. It does take a bit of force, which is a little strange, but I think maybe it depends on how you press the button… I need to try these out more before I can give further feedback.
That’s my review so far! Since I only have to change my infusion set once a week now, that’s one less diabetes thing to do! Diabetes is a lot of work, and now, I have a bit less to do.
Hoping for a good infusion site for you!
Medtronic Launches World’s First and Only Infusion Set for Insulin Pumps that Doubles Wear Time up to 7 days in U.S. Infusion set for the Medtronic Minimed Insulin Pumps including models 670G, 770G, and 780G.