insulin pumps

7 Tips for making infusion sets stick better

Do infusion sets refuse to stick to your skin?
Do they come off when you sweat?
Does body hair affect how well they stay on?
Or does your tubing get caught on doorknobs or other objects and get disconnected?

If you are familiar with these problems, the following tips for making infusion sets stick better can help.

These tips are for everyone:

1.  Start with clean skin. Try to change sets after you shower so the skin is free of oils. Avoid soaps containing skin softeners, because they leave behind oily residues that can make it harder for the infusion set to adhere to the skin.

2. Apply a clear, unscented antiperspirant to the area where the set will be placed to prevent any perspiration under the infusion set.

3. Swab the skin with a skin preparation product, such as Skin Prep or IV Prep, to remove bacteria and make the skin sticky. Let the skin dry before continuing.

4. Try using a dressing such as Tegaderm or IV 3000. Place the dressing directly on the skin and insert the infusion set through the dressing. Or you can apply the dressing on top of the infusion set to help hold it in place. You might also use both methods for extra security. If you place the dressing on top of the set, first cut a hole in it so the set can be disconnected. To cut a hole in the dressing easily, fold the dressing into quarters and then snip off the folded corner.

5. Sometimes body hair is a problem, because the infusion set tends to stick better to the hair than to the skin. You can shave the area where the infusion set will be placed. If shaving irritates the skin, simply trim the hair down to stubble.

6. Using medical tape is also helpful. You can buy rolls of Hypafix or Transpore from your local pharmacy. Place the tape around the edges of the infusion set to help anchor it in place.

7. You can also apply the tape later should the infusion set tape start to peel back at the corners. If your tubing is always getting caught on objects and getting disconnected, consider using a safety loop. This is a small section of tubing that is taped to the skin beside the infusion set in a circle or loop. When you catch the tubing on something, it allows an extra inch or two of tubing to unroll before it yanks out the set.

Now that your infusion set is sticking securely, you have another problem:
How do you get it off? and how do you remove that "goo" from your skin?

1.  Fingernail polish remover or makeup remover can also be used.

2. Baby oil will work, but it's messy.

3. Alcohol wipes will often do the job but require more rubbing on the skin.

4. Leave it to time. After a number of showers, the residue will disappear on its own.
Ramiro Antuña de Alaiz
Diabetes Treatment Unit
insulin pumps > 7 Tips for making infusion sets stick better