Medtronic 522 air bubbles and kinks, troubleshooting, extra cord on infusion set - what do you do with it


My son just got his first pump this week.  When the numbers are high and I am not confident in troubleshooting the bubbles or kinks yet, or determining the problem with the pump.  I just feel like freezing or getting upset.  Any advice would be helpful.

Also what do you do with the extra cord - tuck it in the pants, let it hang out, tie it?  What is the best way to keep it out of the way but not prevent delivery of the insulin?


No need to get frustrated. There's help :) I would highly recommend contacting a rep from Medtronic in your area or your Endo and go through the pump step by step. Find out everything that can and will go wrong and how to fix it. I did two, day-long sessions before I got my pump and it was really helpful. There should be a packet of information or a booklet that comes with your pump on trouble shooting with lots of pictures, etc. which will also help.

I would suggest when you are filling the reservoir with insulin that you have your insulin out for 15-20 minutes so it warms up a little. Then push in the plunger with the insulin bottle attached and then retract. Tap the reservoir with a pen or something to get rid of any bubbles. Then push the plunger through manually to see the insulin come out of the infusion before you PRIME on your pump so that you know the insulin is coming out.

As for the cord, I tuck the cord in my pants--I usually wear the pump on my belt or in my pocket. I wouldn't recommend tying it because you may get a kink that way.

Hope that helps. Wish I could draw you some pictures. Good luck.

hi joanna!

getting a pump is a big step, and it's totally normal to be overwhelmed at first.

remember, his numbers are probably going to be off for a little while until the basals and boluses get fine-tuned.  be patient.  it may not always be a problem with the pump.

if you haven't gotten training from your local rep, i would definitely reccommend it too! your endo should be able to help you set it up.  

i also usually tuck the extra cord in my pants.  there are multiple companies that make pump belts and stuff. i know a lot of kiddos use these. here's a couple i've heard of:

good luck!

I've used a medtronic 522 for several years, so I know the pump well.  Also have a 5-year-old son (not diabetic) so I can imagine the challenges you have!

The most likely problem causing the highs is that your son's basal rate needs to be fine tuned.  Has your doctor/diabetes educator been making changes based on his test results this week?

Have you seen bubbles in the tubing or reservoir?  They shouldn't be there unless you intentionally left them in when filling the reservoir.  As long as you prime the pump when putting in the new infusion set there won't be air bubbles in the tubing either.   If you're unsure about how to get bubbles out when filling the reservoir or how to prime, let me know.  But my guess is that you're doing it fine.

Tuck the tubing in your son's pants so it won't get caught on anything.  I've had the tubing kinked and coiled and never had a problem with insulin delivery.  Check that the removable part of the infusion set is securely in place, that it clicks and feels solid. 

Make sure he has the short tubing (think it's 29"?), which will still be long on a 5-year old.  On a child I'd tuck the pump into his pocket, and also attach the clip to the outside of the pocket so it won't come off as easily. 

Hope this helps.  -Jenna



I posted a blog about bubble trouble recently...maybe it can help?

Also, make sure you got the shortest tubing available...23 inches is what my boys use.  Yes, it does hang a bit...but the other suggestions are great.  My boys tuck it.  My little guys use Spibelts to hold their pumps.  Good luck!