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[IP] Sheesh! I seeith no sheath!

I exclusively use Minimed 42" Sof-set Ultimate QR infusion sets
(reference MMT-315). I'm obligated to order them monthly and my order
consists of 6-10 sets.

While inserting a new set, I've often noticed bare cannula needles
after opening the infusion set peel-off pack. The needle would
sometimes contact a "foreign" object, such as the side of a piece of
furniture or my sleeve and I'd discard the set. (My rule is that the
needle can't touch anything other than air before it's inserted.)

I wasn't sure if the bare needles were due to my own mishandling or if
the tubular plastic sheath had somehow dislodged before I'd even
opened the package. Since I had already seen detached sheaths that
couldn't be refitted over the needle (the sheath diameter was too wide
to permit a friction fit), I knew that at least some sheaths were

So, as of two months ago, I started checking cannula needles for
presence of the sheath immediately after they were delivered. Out of
15 infusion sets, 2 have arrived with the sheath already dislodged.
I've exchanged them for new sets and have asked that they be returned
to Minimed.

Infusion sets are expensive. A single set costs over $10 in the U.S.
but costs are MUCH higher overseas. In France, the state-run medical
plan is billed 35 (about $30) for a single infusion set. The state
pays for all of it, but that just means that my neighbor and I are
paying for all of it.

IMHO, infusion sets should arrive without defects and thus with the
sheath intact. (As in any industrial process, a certain defect rate
must be allowed, but one-in-a-thousand is *enormous* for such a
defect. At such a rate, I should encounter a single detached sheath in
about 10 years of pumping.)

Here are my questions:

1. Has anyone else noticed detached sheaths on their infusion sets?

2. What do you do if a detached sheath permits a needle to contact a
   "foreign" surface? Do you use the set, discard it, or return it?

3. Does anyone else routinely inspect infusion sets before opening
   the peel-off packages? Do you look for anything besides detached

4. Has anyone reported detached-sheath problems to Minimed? What was
   their response?

5. Can anyone say the title of this message 5 times fast? <g>

regards, Andy
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