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Air Bubbles Re: [IP] re: fear of DKA
On 6 Dec 2000, at 17:49, email @ redacted wrote:
> I noticed that bubbles in the line was mentioned. I'm new to pumping so I
> don't understand how this happens. I've had it happen to me a couple of time
> and my Diabetes Educator has told me it's because I'm not setting my sites up
> right. I've redone them several times and I still have the same problem.
> Any insight to this would be greatly appreciated
keep in mind that I'm still new at this so this is by no means the be-
>From what I understand, air bubbles happen primarily in two ways:
1) Improper priming at the time you set up your reservoir/tubing/set
2) Using cold insulin to fill your reservoir
Always warm up your insulin to room temp before you fill your
reservoir. I only vaguely understand why bubbles appear as it
warms up. I put it under my shirt to speed that up. I also find it
works even better when it's near my body temp, since my pump is
right next to my body.
Don't shake your insulin vial. Cuz that mixes air with the insulin
When priming your new set/tubing/reservoir, try to push all the air
out. Any air in the tubing will be treated like insulin. In other
words, your pump will try to give you x units but if it's only air, it
won't know that. You won't actually get the insulin you want.
"Champagne" bubbles (lots of tiny little bubbles) are not usually a
big problem, according to Minimed. Personally, I try to get them
out anyway. They look TO ME as big as 1/10 unit. And that can
make a difference for *me*, since my night time basals are so tiny.
So at night, I disconnect at the quick release, then flick the tubing
until the bubbles are congealed in the same area, then I prime until
that bunch of bubbles are pushed out.
It's probably not a big deal for most people. I think I tend to be a
tad anal. :-)
When I'm filling my reservoir, I turn the reservoir around, using the
big bubble to collect the tiny bubbles. (I got this tip from the insulin-
pumpers HOWTO pages, I think). Then I push them back out of
the reservoir into the insulin vial.
One time, when I refilled a reservoir (using it a 2nd time, which is
nor recommended by Minimed, but hell, I do it anyway), I'm far
more likely to get a HUGE bubble in my tubing (3-4 inches of
tubing). That air bubble could be equivalent to something like 5
units. For me, that's a whole pizza. So if all I got was air, I'd be in
big trouble a few hours later!
In case of a big bubble, it's particularly important to prime until that
bubble goes out the end.
I've seen people here recommend holding the end of the tubing
straight up above the pump so that the bubble has a better chance
of floating to the top sooner.
I inspect my tubing nightly to make sure there are not big bubbles
nor lots of tiny champagne bubbles.
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