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Re: [IP] insertion sites

Julie Britt wrote:
>Today I changed my insertion site by myself for the first time (my mom 
>has done it the last 2 times).  woo hoo!  I have a question though... 
>how do you know if you hit a blood vessel?  I know this happened 
>sometimes with shots.  What do you do if that happens?  Also, it hasn't 
>hurt for me yet, but does anyone experience pain when inserting the 
>needle?  Does it go away when you take the needle out?  Is there 
>anything I could be doing to avoid pain before inserting the needle?  


Good job!  It will get easier each time you do it.

If you have hit a blood vessel, you will have blood drawn back into the
cannula, and your tubing will turn pink at the point where it goes into
your skin.  If you ever see this, you should change your cannula right
away, you won't get good absorption if the insulin is mixing with blood.

There are two types of pain associated with inserting a new set.  The first
is what I call "surface pain" and it is related to the small nerve endings
on your skin.  Some people use a product called EMLA cream, available by
prescription, to numb the site.  Emla requires about two hours to be
effective so you must plan ahead.  Others have just as much success with
numbing the site with an ice cube for a minute or two before insertion.
For me, when I prick the skin and it hurts, I just move the needle over
about 1/4 inch and try again.  You just never know where one of those nerve
endings is going to show up!

The second type of pain comes from hitting a layer of muscle with the
introducer needle or cannula.  You didn't mention what type of infusion
sets you are using but if you have trouble with this kind of pain, the best
sets are the Comfort/Tender/ Silhouette type of sets.  They are inserted at
an angle.  If you have pain, you can just try a shallower angle.  I
originally used the MiniMed Sof-sets and had quite a bit of trouble with
muscle stabbing pain. Since switching to the Silhouettes, I've only had one
or two problems (in over a year!)

Good luck!
Mary Jean

Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/