Hear from our experts

Choosing your new infusion set: why one size does not fit all

 

Riona Petticrew,
Clinical Manager,
Animas Canada,
RN, CDE

Choosing the right infusion set is one of the most important decisions1 you can make for a successful pumping experience. No two pumpers are built the same, and insulin pump infusion sets are not one size fits all.

If you’re not familiar with insulin pump therapy and infusion sets, read the basics about how pumping works.

To fit the specific needs and preferences of pumpers, the best choice of infusion set may depend on several factors2. You also might need to revisit your infusion set options as your lifestyle and body changes.

Insertion angle2: Your body weight, activity level and preferred infusion sites could influence your choice of insertion angle.

  • Angled (20o – 45o): If you’re lean, muscular, or have an active lifestyle with higher risk of your set being pulled out, this may be your best choice. Angled insertion sets are less impacted by movement and are more likely to stay in place. The clear window in the adhesive tape allows you to see the site and watch for signs of infection.
  • Straight (90o): If you have limited movement or prefer arm or hard-to-reach infusion sites, these sets might be suited to you. They’re often simpler to use, and beneficial if you have needle anxiety.

 

Cannula length2: Angled sets come in 13mm and 17mm lengths, and straight sets are available in 6mm, 8mm, and 9mm lengths. Shorter length cannulas are appropriate for most pumpers, however longer cannula might be a better option if:

  • You require large doses of insulin (>25 units per meal or basal rate >2.5 units per hour)
  • You have a high Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • You have scar tissue

 

Teflon or steel cannula2: Teflon cannulas (the most common) are suitable for most pumpers, however steel might be a better option if:

  • You’re fit and active, and have a history of bent cannulas
  • You’re pregnant, and there is a need to minimize the risk of ketone production
  • You react, or are allergic to teflon cannulas

 

Manual or mechanical insertion2: Most pump companies offer a choice between automatic spring-loaded insertion devices or manually inserted infusion sets. Here are some factors that might influence your choice:

  • Manual insertion lets you control the process, speed and angle of insertion.
  • Automatic insertion may be preferable if you have needle anxiety, limited movement,low vision, or are inserting in hard-to-reach sites.

 

Tubing length2: This is a personal preference and will generally be influenced by where you like to wear your pump.

  • Shorter length (23”): Less likely to get tangled or caught on items, keeps the pump closer to your body and reduces exposure to extreme temperatures.
  • Longer length (43”): Allows you to wear your pump further from your infusion site (tucked into a bra, tucked into a Thigh Thing accessory, or tucked into a boot
    - whatever is most comfortable and discrete for you)

Always consult your healthcare professional when determining which infusion set is right for you, and consider trying different infusion sets to find the one that works for you.

Animas has various infusion sets to accommodate all the factors above. Be sure to check out the inset®II and inset®30 infusion sets: these all-in-one sets combine the inserter and infusion set in a single, portable unit, so they're a snap to change anytime, anywhere.

To request a free sample of the inset®II or inset®30 all-in-one infusion sets, or to inquire about other infusion set options that may be better suited for you, contact Animas Canada Customer Care at 1-866-406-4844.

1 John Walsh and Ruth Roberts, Pumping Insulin 5th Edition.

2 American Association of Diabetes Educators. Insulin Pump Therapy: Best practices in choosing and using infusion devices.