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RE: [IP]plastic cartridges

> ----------
> From: 	email @ redacted[SMTP:email @ redacted]
> Reply To: 	email @ redacted
> Sent: 	Friday, October 17, 1997 12:53 AM
> To: 	email @ redacted
> Subject: 	Re: [IP]plastic cartridges
> Jim----Whoa!  It never occurred to me to re-use the catridges!  Where
> have I
> been.  Then how do you know when to use a new one?  Does the rubber
> stopper
> leak or what?  So it seems that the plastic cannot be re-used??  All
> very
> interesting!  It really is disgusting how much all of the paraphanelia
> costs
> even if you have good insurance.  And how 'bout those strips?  Let's
> find a
> way to re-use them!!
> David---thank you for the internal pump info.  I'll have to check out
> that
> website.
> Karen
Here's my two cents: I used to reuse the insulin cartridges, but my big
problem was figuring out how to mark each cartridge so I'd know how many
times I had used it. I didn't want to use each cartridge enough times
that the plunger started getting tight. After a variety of tries, I
finally came up with the following effective solution: I used a
"Sharpie" or similar marking pen to put a notch directly on the blue
plunger every time I filled the vial. (I had been trying on the vial
itself, but the mark wouldn't stay, despite being covered with tape,
etc.) Once it had two or three marks on it, I knew it was time to retire
it. I hope this is a useful suggestion for some. 

If you're looking to save a lot of money, though, and you're using a
Disetronic pump, try replacing the batteries yourself -- this is a way
to save a lot of money, and I think a very safe way, too (though others
will disagree). Before I go on, let me mention that one Disetronic rep
told me that if the company found that I had done this to one of its
pumps it would invalidate my warranty. I think this is wrong -- they
don't seem to mind if I use Humalog in the pump, even though it's not
technically approved for that use, and that'll have a bigger effect on
the pump than the batteries, in my experience -- but it's worth knowing.

Basically, Disetronic will charge you about $7.50 for each of those
special "Disetronic" batteries, but in fact each one is just a holder
for two of the 357 batteries you find in a Minimed. You can carefully
take apart the Dise battery holder and replace the worn out batteries
with two very inexpensive 357 batteries -- you can get the best brands
you can find, and still save a fortune over what Disetronic will charge
you -- and you're all set. Some will say that these batteries will not
work as well, but I don't believe that to be the case.

Since I have full coverage of pump supplies now, I purchase new stuff,
but if you're trying to save money or don't have coverage (and don't get
me started here -- the biggest reason why everything costs so much is
because our idiotic insurance system allows companies like Disetronic
and Minimed to charge whatever they want, making everything that much
worse for those without insurance) you might want to consider these
things. Also, if you want to look in to reducing the cost of infusion
sets, consider exploring what Becton-Dickinson has to offer in the way
of replacement infusion sets for other uses. I got two sets somewhere
and found that the luer lock on the pump is a standard size in the
medical supply industry. The B-D sets I had weren't perfect -- I think
the tubing was too large (though once it's filled with insulin that
shouldn't really matter, I would think) and the tubing wasn't long
enough, but I was never able to get my hands on a medical supply catalog
that would list the different sizes of tubing diameter, length, or
needle gauge that B-D produced. I still have one of the ones I received;
I could supply its product code and part number if that would be useful
to anyone.

Peter McCracken                          email @ redacted
Reference Librarian                             email @ redacted
Joyner Library                                          (919) 328-6201
East Carolina University                        fax (919) 328-4834
Greenville, North Carolina 27858
* Maritime History on the Internet:http://ils.unc.edu/maritime/home.html