Problems with Tandem Infusion sets

I began using Tandem t:slim x2 end of 7/2019. It is 4th type of pump I have used in 17 years. Used Deltec Cosmo 5 yr, Animas 5yr, Animas Vibe 5 yr. Inquiring of those who have history of using infusion sets other than Tandem. For most of years with 1st 3 pumps used Minimed Quickset Infiusion sets. Used optional reusable injector. It was rare for me to have problems inserting cannulas or having bent cannulas. I have had a lot of problems from start with Tandem Soft 90° cannula. Yes, I have tried all the Tandem infusion sets. Due to pattern of infusion set viability I now change set every other day.

I do accept fact it took me a while to get used to all the steps of using Tandem’s built in injector. I didn’t have problems with minimed infusion sets plain & simple. I do not believe that I somehow changed overnight so I’m not accepting operator error as reason for failed cannula placement & malfunction after a day of use. I have almost always used stomach area & bent cannulas were rare occurences.

I feel fortunate that Tandem never blames me for equipment failure & always replaces infusion sets which is important with Medicare rationing. They in fact want me to call or contact any time I have a problem.

Have any other members had similiar problems with Tandem infusion sets?

In a word: yes.

Thirty-two early set changes in the first four months of using Tandem. We, too, have tried every type of infusion set. She did not have this problem with Omnipod. Tandem has been consistently good about sending replacements, and countless reps, 4 DNEs, and 2 endos have talked with us at length in an effort to figure it out. No dice.

But then something happened, and she’s been on a roll lately. I don’t want to jinx us, but she had multiple sets work as intended for the entire time in a row. (And then one go bad in the last 8 hrs with a visibly red, inflamed site, but then two good sets in a row since then.). So we’re still using them, but in all honesty, we’ll probably switch back to Omnipod as soon as Horizon (or however they end up branding it) comes out.

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@Hen51, I have had lots of problems with Tandem XC infusion sets, after 20 years on Medtronic. (I’m not going back, though :slightly_smiling_face: ). In my case I have a lot of failed sites, often within hours of insertion. I also have what I would call “aggravated sites” where on removal of a set the puncture is larger and redder than with Medtronic. My failed site problems seem to come in waves, so I suspect a quality problem. When I went to Tandem, my endo prescribed for changing sites every two days, instead of three with Medtronic.

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I used the 90 degree sets with Minimed (now Medtronic)v and with Tandem. Maybe it was my imagination but a while ago it seemed like the tape got harder to grasp - or maybe it was age + big fingers. I didn’t feel like it was secure so have been using the 30s for some time now. I was having some issues with those but discovered I was tilting the applicator and as a result it wasn’t going in well - a couple of times it barely looked like it was under! Since I’ve stopped angling it I’ve had much better results - and I try to hold it firmly in place as I remove the introducer. That’s working well. I discovered a few leftover Autosoft 90s - don’t recall if they are compatible with the Tandem connector or not but if so will give them a try for old times sake😊.

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Similiar experiences. I too have ugly sites which I just didn’t have with minimed infusion sets.

Mike, Very simiiar experiences. Hadn’t thought about including in post but I also have aggravated sites.

For a time had problem with pulling protective paper off of adhesive. Once ended up pulling cannula completely off insertion needle and once 1/2 way off, same difference. Still difficult but I am very, very careful. Very diff than in past. I think that could be quality control problem since increased pump sales means ramped up production of supplies.

It occurred to be that there might be some kind of QC issues. The so-far better run with the AutoSoft 30s she’s using now does correlate with a new box. But still, she’s had trouble with all the different kinds of infusion sets, and this box isn’t problem-free, just better (and it’s early in the box yet), so who knows?

Either way, honestly, if nothing else, I feel better knowing that you’ve been having the same issues, Henry. We’re still new enough to pumps that it could be our own fault. But we’ve worked with an awful lot of people at this point, so I didn’t think so… Reading your experiences definitely validates our struggles: I was wondering if it was just us. :frowning:

So I’m sorry you’re dealing with it, too, but I’m also kind of glad we aren’t the only ones!

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Did it seem to you that the protective paper was smaller on the Tandem 30s? Of course my fingers could have gotten larger - I’ve read that typing on a cell phone can make your thumbs bigger.


Although I haven’t had any problem with insulin delivery with the Tandem AutoSoft XC or 30 infusion, like Dorie @wadawabbit , I’ve experienced difficulty sometimes removing the backside backing paper. And I too, blamed the difficulty on ageing fingers; only one time did my clumsiness dislodge the cannula - the one I just inserted was simple and that may be because my walk was in close to 80 degree weather.

BTW Dorie, Medtronic has always named their pumps MiniMed - including today’s advertisement for its newest attempt - MiniMed™ 770G System
Insulin Pump Technology
Self-adjusting technology approved for ages 2 and older.* Now with smartphone connectivity.

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Thanks. When Medtronic acquired Minimed I wasn’t sure how to refer to it. It seems I see Medtronic more often so I wanted to cover both bases. Leave it to you my ever observant friend to notice I use both names. Thanks as always for keeping me informed!

I believe there’s been something unusual with the paper cover. Recntly had to use tweezers to get end of spiral cover pulled off. It is the paper cover.

I doubt it is you considering all the people with whom you’ve worked.


Dennis, Changed cannula today. Pulling protective cover paper off carefully & same way as always when the paper tore off about 1/2 way through. This has happened before. One time I was able to get enough of end with tweezers to pull paper off. One time I botched the joined. Another time remaining paper stayed on tight. I finally used a square of scotch tape to get hold of remaining paper then pull it off. Again not doing anything but what I’ve done for over 1.5 years.

Henry @Hen51 from what you describe, it sounds to me as if you are using the AutoSoft XC infusion sets. That is the set I used first when I got my Tandem two years ago - still have a couple of sets on the top shelf.

I too found on a few occasions that it was difficult removing the spiral backing paper - like you, it tore a couple of times, and a couple of times the whole device came out of the inserter - I was able to place it back in and got good service with them.

The condition of the spiral paper cover varies. At times it comes off smoothly. Yesterday was one of the times it did not & I learned to be very careful. Tearing is an unusual & uncharacteristic event. I’m going to begin to keep samples. The feel if the paper seems to vary. I’m going to begin to collect samples for comparison & document my findings. It will be for my own satisfaction if for nothing else.

Hi @Dennis! I found some leftover AutoSoft 90s and decided to give them a try - the paper tore a bit as I was pulling it off one of them (no probs with the other) but thankfully I was able to get the remaining piece without much trouble. It sounds like it applies to both the XC and the 90😫.

I switched from medtronic to tandem late last year. I too find the spiral paper on the autosoft XC I use to be a bit trickier. But I just unwind it a bit more slowly to make sure it is pulling off completely from the start. What jumps out at me is that you have been using your stomach area for years. A couple years ago, when still using minimal, I started to have problems with bent cannulas or bad sites and my medical team were very clear that this was probably because the area needed a rest, or possibly a retirement due to scar tissue or changes in the fat in that area. I switched to the butt/hip area and the problem was pretty much solved. Have you tried that? I know it can be more awkward. I reserve my stomach area for the Dexcom now.

Good Morning Everyone! This is my second post to JDRF, so please excuse any ignorance that I may have about infusion sets and pump therapy. I have only been on pump therapy with Medtronic (670G with GCM - manual mode(auto mode does not work for me)) for 3 1/2 years. Though I am considering making the switch to Tandem/Dexcom when my insurance allows, this is not the topic of my post…

I started using what Medtronic calls the Minimed Mio which I think is an Autosoft 90. Though I have not had the issues with the backing not spiraling properly, I can see it being an issue. Also, I have not had any problems with ugly insertion sites, bent cannulas, or any of the other issues that have been described here. I switched to the Minimed Quick-set because it has a reusable serter which generates less waste. The backing paper for this cannula is a clamshell style (2 halves), which is much easier to remove. Again, I have been blessed with no site issues, and I apologize for any ignorance that results from my lack of problems.

Now to my confusion - since all 3 cannulas are manufactured by Unomedical, how can the Medtronic users have no site issues but switching to Tandem and using a very similar cannula now develop issues? What is different about them?

Thank you all in advance for sharing your experiences. As I said in my introduction, I am seriously considering switching from Medtronic to Tandem, and I am gathering all information that I can to ensure that I do not repeat any Medtronic problems, or take on “new” problems with the Tandem system.


I have also had cannula problems with the Autosoft and Varisoft infusion sets for Tandem. Cannula kept slipping out. Have since switched to the TruSteel sets for Tandem and have found they work 100%. They don’t seem to move (particularly with an over-patch on). And being stainless steel instead of soft plastic I just press on it if I have paranoia about it slipping out.