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[IP] Minimed reservoirs

Paul wrote:

>... I change my sof sets every three days but wanted to know if you could 
>use the reservoirs more than once? Have been throwing them away every 
>three days also.

I change my reservoir once a month, after 4 fills (the initial fill plus 3 
refills). I fill the reservoir to 300 units once per week. I have had no 
problems doing this after I figured out how to avoid the "NO DELIVERY" alarms.

Here's what I do:

When I'm ready to refill the reservoir, I remove it from the pump, pull 
back on the plunger to suck the insulin in the tubing back into the 
reservoir, detach the catheter, hold the reservoir with the luer connection 
UP, and push the plunger part-way up and pull it back in quick succession 
5-10 times. The first few times, the plunger will move fairly stiffly, but 
then it will start to glide quite smoothly. (This may have to do with 
lubricant being redistributed on the reservoir surface and it's possible 
that the lubricant is somehow released from the plunger.) When the plunger 
moves freely, I'll refit the reservoir fill needle (which I saved) back on 
the reservoir mouth, fill the reservoir from one (or more) insulin bottles, 
remove all air bubbles, detach the fill needle, attach a new infusion set, 
push the plunger until insulin comes out the cannula, insert the reservoir 
into the pump, prime, and insert the cannula.

Now that I've learned the "in-and-out" plunger trick, I have no alarms. 
Someone mentioned the risk of infection. Since insulin contains an 
antiseptic, the infection risk, IMHO, is extremely low. (When I was on MDI, 
I took 4 injections per day and reused syringes for several days. I _never_ 
had an infection at an injection site. I also reuse a lancet until I 
receive the occasional reminder from an IP list member to change it. <g> I 
have _never_ had an infection at a puncture site.)

Unfortunately, I don't have the same luxury with cannulas. I've found I 
need to change them every 3 days or less. If I leave them in longer, then I 
do indeed have occasional mild site infections.

Now that I've found my optimal change frequency for cannulas, catheters, 
reservoirs, and batteries (YMMV), I'm able to avoid infections while being 
fairly frugal with supplies.


regards, Andy

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